Ranji Trophy 2014-15, Group B, 4th day February 9, 2015

Odisha's nervous win relegates Saurashtra

ESPNcricinfo staff

File photo: Samad Fallah picked up four wickets to help bundle Vidarbha out for 391 © Dainik Dabang Dunia

Odisha 88 (Tyagi 5-24) and 283 for 8 (Sarangi 83, Podder 64, Trivedi 4-45) beat Saurashtra 218 (Jani 99*, Mohanty 4-40, Mangaraj 4-57) and 152 (Deepak 3-29, Mohanty 3-35, Mangaraj 3-51) by 2 wickets
Scorecard

Odisha survived several nervy moments and pulled off a slender two-wicket win to ensure that Saurashtra were relegated for the next Ranji season. Odisha needed to avoid a loss to stay away from relegation and finished fourth in Group B with six points from the win. Saurashtra needed an outright win and will now play in Group C next season.

Odisha started the day on 128 for 2, needing another 155, and were nearly taken to 200 by Anurag Sarangi (83) and Govinda Podder (64). They stretched their partnership to 155 runs, the highest of the match, before Odisha's stutter started. The stand was broken when Chirag Jani came round the wicket and trapped Sarangi with a sharp reverse-swinging delivery which the batsman left and was given lbw. Left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat dented Odisha from the other end when he also switched to round the wicket and bowled Podder three overs later, using sharp reverse swing.

Unadkat persisted with the angle and was rewarded again when the ball crashed onto the stumps after keeping low to surprise Natraj Behara, who fell for a duck. Captain Abhilash Mallick eased some nerves for Odisha by pulling and driving Unadkat, halting the fall of wickets for at least ten overs. However, Siddharth Trivedi's extra bounce drew an outside edge off Mallick's bat for first slip, and Odisha slipped from 193 for 2 to 229 for 6.

The No. 6 Biplab Samnatray fought hard at the other end, surviving 60 balls for nearly two hours, but he saw another wicket fall when Subhrajit Sahoo was also caught behind off Trivedi. Odisha were losing wickets but also trudging towards their target. After Sahoo's wicket, they were only 40 adrift and Samnatray brought it down to 21 with Deepak Behera. However, Odisha got another scare when Samnatray pulled Trivedi from outside off for a skier to midwicket and Saurashtra were now only two wickets away from relegation.

Deepak and Basant Mohanty finally steered Odisha home after the former crashed three fours. There was a chaotic mix-up between the two with only two runs required when Mohanty sliced a delivery to point and Deepak took off for a single to cross more than half the pitch. Luckily for him, the fielder missed a direct hit at the non-striker's end as he dived to make his ground only to realise there was an overthrow opportunity which he ran for after losing his bat near the stumps.

Maharashtra 342 (Bawne 100) and 168 for 4 (Khadiwale 42) beat Vidarbha 114 (Joseph 5-19) and 391 (f/o) (Urvesh 87, Fallah 4-65) by 6 wickets
Scorecard

Maharashtra and Vidarbha both qualified for the quarter-finals despite the hosts' six-wicket win in Pune. With six points from the win, Maharashtra finished second in the table and Vidarbha stayed on 24 points, level with Gujarat, but progressed to the knockouts on better run rate. Had Gujarat beaten Haryana by ten wickets instead of nine, they would have qualified instead of Vidarbha.

Vidarbha were 274 for 6 at the start of the day and frustrated Maharashtra with lower-order contributions from overnight batsmen Urvesh Patel and Shrikant Wagh, and No. 9 Rakesh Dhurv. Wagh could add only 10 runs to his overnight 23 before Urvesh and Dhurv put on 88 for the eighth wicket. Dhurv's patient 59, his first fifty of the season, featured eight fours before he was caught behind off Samad Fallah, who also took the last two wickets to wrap up Vidarbha for 391. Urvesh's 87, which took nearly six hours, included 10 fours and Maharashtra were set a target of 164. Fallah finished with 4 for 65.

The hosts were hardly bothered in the chase apart from the early wicket of Swapnil Gugale for 7 in the sixth over. Harshad Khadiwale (42) steered them towards 100 along with Kedar Jadhav (28) and Rohit Motwani (27), and even though three more wickets fell before they reached 150, Rahul Tripathi's unbeaten 39 off 29 saw them home in the company of Ankit Bawne.

Comments