Biplab Samantray, the Odisha captain, dragged his team into the semi-final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy by slamming his maiden List A ton and followed it up by defending eight runs in the final over to beat Goa by one run in Rajkot.
Goa's chase of 290 was led by the top order as opener Amogh Desai scored 110 off 139 balls. The no. 3 Sagun Kamat contributed a sparkling 92 off 87 balls, with five fours and five sixes but the search for a big hit forced him to pull a muscle and retire hurt with the score at 195 for 1. Goa lost six wickets for 24 runs, but No. 10 Shadab Jakati struck 26 off 16 balls to reverse their fortunes. He lifted the score to 282 for 8 and victory was eight runs away when Samantray though took the final over and condensed the equation to three runs off the final ball. Kamat walked back out for it, but was stuck at the non-strikers' end and Jakati was only able to take a single.
Prospects had been grimmer for Odisha with seamer Saurabh Bandekar snapping two of the top-order for single-figures. He later returned to rip through the lower order during his 5 for 37. However, in between his spells, Samantray and Anurag Sarangi struck defiant tons to set up a total of 289. While they were shepherding the innings, Odisha had looked set for a much higher total. The score was 263 for 3 in the 46th over when the 188-run stand was broken and the rest of the line-up crumbled. Goa took seven wickets for 26 runs, with five of them falling in the last nine balls of the innings.
Samantray hammered 11 fours and two sixes in his 73-ball 100, while Sarangi settled for a run-a-ball 112 with 12 fours and a six and their efforts proved absolutely vital in the end.
Vidarbha opted to chase, but their bowlers struggled to keep Tiwary in check as he struck nine sixes and four fours during a 101-ball 130. Opener Shreevats Goswami played his sidekick with 84 off 113 balls. They added 142 runs for the second wicket, which served as the foundation of a total of 318 for 5.
With the onus on Vidarbha's batsmen, opener Fazal produced a composed 105 off 111 balls, with nine fours and two sixes and had ample support from Badrinath, whose 100 came off 94 balls and included 13 fours. Their efforts lifted the score to 211 for 2 in the 37th over and Vidarbha were well poised until Veer Pratap made his impact. The seamer got rid of Fazal and captain Shalabh Srivastava in the 37th over and Ravi Jangid was run out in the next and Vidarbha were 216 for 5. Veer Pratap struck again in the 46th over and took two wickets again in the 50th, including Badrinath's to seal victory and his best figures in List A matches.