Bhubaneswar: After a narrow three-run loss at the hands of Jammu and Kashmir in their last match, Odisha came out all guns blazing Thursday and defeated a star-less Saurashtra by 49 runs in their Group E Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy encounter in Surat, Thursday.
Opting to bat, skipper Govind Poddar (57, 42b, 5×4, 2×6 & 3/7) and Biplab Samantray (60, 35b, 5×4, 2×6) led Odisha to a challenging 163/5. In reply, Saurashtra lost their last seven wickets for 82 runs to be bowled out for 114 giving Odisha the much-needed two points.
Jharkhand top the group table with 18 points, while four teams – Gujarat, Odisha, Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir – are locked at 12 points each. Odisha stand third in the table.
It was never an easy going for the Saurashtra batsmen as they found it hard to stand in front of a disciplined Odisha bowling line-up and they lost wickets at regular intervals.
While Pappu Roy, who opening the bowling tightening the screws at one end, it was the combo of Debabrata Pradhan (2/28) and Ankit Yadav (2/13) whose regular breakthroughs made life difficult for Saurashtra batsman.
It is also to be noted that former India wicketkeeper Kiran More who is one of the talent scouts for IPL franchise Mumbai Indians (MI) was also at the stands, possibly for a look at Pappu who recently had a good trial with the three-time IPL champions. And with figures of 2/13 in four overs at an economy of 3.25, Pappu did his job pretty well.
Earlier, Odisha started on a disastrous note as opener Sandeep Patnaik, who hit a fifty in the last match, fell cheaply. However, Poddar and Subhranshu Senapati (19) resurrected the innings with a 44-run second wicket partnership.
With Govind also back in the hut with the score reading 100/3 in the 13th over, it was Biplab anchored the innings with his maiden half century of the tournament to take Odisha past 160-run mark.
Brief scores: Odisha 163/5 (Govind Poddar 57, Biplab Samantray 60) beat Saurashtra 114 (Harvik Desai 26; Govind Poddar 3/7, Pappu Roy 2/13, Ankit Yadav 2/13) by 49 runs.