Tangi (Cuttack): Hosts Odisha were in dire trouble against Uttarakhand on Day 2 of the Elite Group D Ranji Trophy encounter at DRIEMS Ground (Tangi), near here on Saturday.
After amassing 342 in their first innings, Uttarakhand conveyed a strong message on Day 2, by grabbing six vital Odisha wickets. The hosts were struggling at 123/6 with their key batters back in pavilion.
Needless to say that Odisha will face an uphill task on Day 3 first session, when they counter overnight recharged Uttarakhand bowlers.
If the visitors manage a couple of early breakthroughs in bowling-friendly DRIEMS track in the morning session, then the hosts facing yet another batting collapse this season can't be ruled out.
Earlier in the day, resuming play at 232/3, Uttarakhand with Vaibhav Bhatt's 115 and Akhil Rawat's 50 managed 242/10.
Right arm Odisha pacer Sunil Roul and left-arm spinner Harshit Rathod shared 3 wickets each. Pacers Rajesh Mohanty, Debabrata Pradhan, Biplab Samantray and Prayash Singh claimed a wicket each.
Lack of variation in their attack, perhaps affected Odisha once again, as their battery of right arm medium pacers toiled hard for wickets. The only exception, left-arm orthodox spinner Harshit Rathod was impressive though.
In reply, Odisha lost regular wickets. Skipper Shantanu Mishra departed early again with individual contribution of 5 only.
But promoted up the order, young keeper Aasirwad Swain impressed with a half century. Swain faced 109 balls and with 10 boundaries, he scored 54.
The only other Odisha batsman to reach a double digit score was former skipper Biplab Samantray. He scored 32 in 51 balls, with five hits to the fence. Prayash Singh was not out on 9, when umpires announced stumps for Day 2.
To compound Odisha's problem in batting, their inform batsman this season, Sandeep Pattnaik did not bat at the top order, which affected the hosts.
If Odisha's long tail can resist Uttarakhand bowlers in the first session of Day 3, then the match may create some interest for local fans. Otherwise, Uttarakhand will continue to dominate the proceedings, as they have done so far during the first two days of play.
Odisha have not been very impressive this year. In their five Ranji outings so far, they have registered only a single victory. They have won one, lost two and managed a first innings lead on two occasions.
Before sharing honours with Puducherry at Barabati recently, they defeated Himachal Pradesh at DRIEMS Ground, here.
Prior to that, Odisha have lost to Baroda by 147 runs in Vadodara, had drawn with Madhya Pradesh in Indore (enjoyed first innings lead though) and lost to Jammu and Kashmir in DRIEMS Ground, Cuttack by 2 wickets.
Odisha have 12 points from five outings and are at 5th place in Group D. Uttarakhand with 8 points from as many outings, hold the 6th spot.
Uttarakhand 342/10 in 131.3 overs (Vaibhav Bhatt 115, Jiwanjot Singh 90, Harshit Rathod 3/60).
Odisha 123/6 in 41.2 overs (Aasirwad Swain 54, Biplab Samantray 32, Abhay Negi 2/33).
Match to Continue.