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Ranji: Odisha-Jharkhand face off in last league match

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Odisha Ranji team failed to capitalise after a good opening stand against Jharkahand on Thursday in their last round match played at Trivandrum in Kerala and by lunch on the first day of the match they are in a precarious condition losing 4 wickets for 2 runs. The Govinda Poddar led team went to lunch on 48 for 4 after slipping badly from 46 for no wickets.

Barring the openers three of its middle order batsmen including the skipper failed to open their accounts. Opener Sandeep Pattanaik is batting on 23 off 117 balls along with former captain all-rounder Biplab Samantray who is yet to begin scoring. Other opener Ranjit Singh made 20 off 72 balls.

For Jharkhand, spinner Shabaz Nadeem took 2 wickets and effected a run-out while Vikash scalped one.

Both the teams from Group-B have qualified for the quarterfinals that start from December 24. The result of this match however is not going to affect the forward march of both the teams, but a win will take Jharkhand to the top of the table.

It’s to be noted that this match was earlier scheduled to be played at Dindigul in Tamil Nadu when the ninth round matches in the Ranji Trophy was played all over the country. However the demise of Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha forced BCCI to reschedule the match.

Odisha qualified for the quarterfinal for the first time since 2000-01 when they had gone to semifinal- their best ever performance in Ranji Trophy. Besides they had played plate group finals, which was meant for qualifying to elite groups when that system was effective. Since the implementation of groups A, B, C Odisha have been staying in the top two groups and this is their first ever qualifications to play in the knockouts.

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