Behera and Das lift Orissa
Orissa 276 for 7 (Behera 69, R Das 55, Bhatia 4-80) v Himachal Pradesh
Half centuries by Niranjan Behera and Rashmi Ranjan Das helped Orissa end the first day of the Ranji Trophy Plate final, against Himachal Pradesh at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack, on a satisfactory note. Orissa were stopped in their tracks by Vishal Bhatia, the left-arm spinner, whose four middle-order wickets reduced the home side to 276 for 7 at the close of play.
Orissa got off to a steady start with the openers adding 43. Shiv Sundar Das looked in good nick, scoring 42, and Behera and captain Pravanjan Mullick built on the good start, adding 50 for the fourth wicket. However, Himachal struck back with two quick wickets for just three runs, with Bhatia getting the important wicket of Behera for 69. Rashmi Ranjan Das and Haladhar Das then steadied the innings with an 87-run stand for the sixth wicket, with Rashmi Ranjan Das contributing 55. Haladhar Das fell to Bhatia for 31 just before stumps, a break that Himachal will look forward to exploiting early tomorrow.