Tangi (Cuttack), Jan 22: Hosts Odisha lost to Jammu and Kashmir by 2 wickets on Day 4 of a Group D Ranji Trophy match played at DRIEMS Ground, here on Monday.
The 29-year-old J&K right-arm medium pacer Rohit Sharma (the namesake of Team Indian skipper), who claimed 7 wickets in the four-day battle, was rightly adjudged the Man-of-the-Match (MoM).
Resuming play at 72/4 in their second innings on Day-4, Jammu and Kashmir lost four more wickets in the first session of play on the final day, but finally managed to reach their target of 149 with two wickets in hand.
The winners were awarded crucial 6 points, while Odisha failed to get any. The home side lost a crucial tie at their own backyards, which swung like a pendulum throughout the four days.
From result point of view, J&K pacer Rohit Sharma's decisive first innings spell of 5/12 and his team's crucial 50 runs lead in the first innings, finally proved decisive in the course of the match.
Odisha did bat well in their second innings as they posted 198/10 with top order batter Sandeep Patnaik hitting an unbeaten 100. But others failed to flourish and could not give him good company for long.
A meagre target of 149 was never a tough ask for the visitors, who held their nerves to pull up a victory in the low-scoring cliff-hanger.
For the winners Jammu and Kashmir, experienced middle-order batsman Abdul Samad's unbeaten 66 was the key. Samad held one end and let the score-board move, despite wickets tumbling regularly at the other end.
For the hosts, pacer Rajesh Mohanty, who claimed 5/64 in the first innings, was the highest wicket taker in the second innings too. He dazzled with another fifer (5/61).
Despite losing the match, Mohanty's 10 wickets in the match and Sandeep Patnaik's ton in the second innings were the positives for Odisha.
With 14 wickets falling on Day-1 and pacers dominating the proceedings throughout the four-day play, a result was imminent in the tie. J&K played sensibly and showed enough maturity to take the sea-saw tussle in their favour.
Odisha must be blaming themselves for batting collapses in both the innings. Their bowlers, especially pacer Rajesh Mohany did put up a valiant fight, just they could not match the patience, application and nerves shown by J&K.
From January 26, Odisha would play Himachal Pradesh at the same venue in their next Ranji encounter.
In the three Ranji Trophy Group D matches this season, Odisha have lost two and one draw, with 3 points from three outings.
Earlier, Odisha had lost to Baroda by 147 runs in Vadodara and drawn with Madhya Pradesh in Indore.
Odisha: 130 and 198.
J&K: 180 and 149/8.
Player of the Match: Rohit Sharma.