Bhubaneswar: Odisha were reeling at 27/3 at stumps on day 1 of their Elite Group C match of the Ranji Trophy against Jharkhand in Ranchi, Thursday. But it was the veteran Odisha pacer Basant Mohanty (5/44) who was the star of the day as he bagged a five-wicket-haul.
Basant found an able ally in young pace sensation Rajesh Mohanty (3/51) as Odisha bowled the hosts out for 172 after inviting Jharkhand to bat first.
Jharkhand openers K Deobrat (29) and skipper Nazim Siddiqui (23) put on 57 runs before Basant and Rajesh brought Odisha back into the game. Jharkhand lost wickets at regular intervals in spite of making small partnerships.
Seasoned Jharkhand batsman Ishank Jaggi (34) was the top scorer for the hosts as his departure triggered the lower-middle order and lower order collapse.
The total of 172 looks small on cards but with the wickets reacting, it is a mountain to climb for the visitors and their reply shows exactly that.
Odisha couldn’t have expected that kind of start as they were reduced to 7/3 before opener Anurag Sarangi (9 batting) and seasoned campaigner and skipper Biplab Samantray (10 batting) held their nerves to ensure Odisha of no further hiccups on the day.
India discard Varun Aaron (2/22) was the reason as his pace and line caused lot of problems for the Odisha top order. He first dismissed Rajesh Dhuper in the third over before getting the prized wicket of former Odisha skipper Govind Poddar to reduce Odisha to 7/2 inside five overs.
In-form Subhranshu Senapati was the next man to be out as a misunderstanding while running between the wickets led to his run out which piled more misery on the visitors.
However, Anurag and Biplab managed to avoid further hiccups as the duo put on an unbeaten 20-run stand for the fourth wicket before umpires called the day off after 13 overs. Odisha still trail by 145 runs.
Brief scores: Jharkhand 172 (Ishank Jaggi 34; Basant Mohanty 5/44, Rajesh Mohanty 3/51); Odisha 27/3 (Varun Aaron 2/22). Match to continue.