Bhubaneswar: Odisha has a formidable lead of 139 runs with one wicket in hand against table topper Karnataka by the end of second day’s play at Airforce ground, Palam, New Delhi. Team Odisha was on 318 for 9 when stumps were drawn for the day in reply to Karnataka’s 179 in first innings.
For Odisha, wicketkeeper Saurabh Rawat scored a brilliant 85 runs off 124 balls and former captain Biplab Samantray made a patient 58 runs of 190 balls. In a 146-run partnership for seventh wicket Saurabh was the mass contributor. He had a special liking for rival skipper Vinay Kumar whom he hit three fours and one six in an over to go from 44 to 62. After Biplab got out, Suryakant Pradhan came to the crease and attacked the Karnataka bowlers during his short stay. Suryakant scored a quick fire 23 off 15 balls before becoming leggie Shreyas Gopal’s victim. Suryakant hit Gopal for two sixes in an over before being dismissed leg before wicket.
Saurabh was well set for his maiden century before being caught by wicketkeeper CM Gautam of Gopal who took 5 wickets. Later, Basant Mohanty and Alok Mangaraj contributed 16 and 10 runs respectively in an unbroken 26-run 10th wicket partnership.
For Karnataka, besides Gopal’s 5-fer Vinay Kumar, Sreenath Aravind and Gowtham K took one wicket each. Odisha has a golden chance of going for an outright win against the strong Karnataka team and go up in the points table.