Tangi (Cuttack), Jan 27: Hosts Odisha were 157/3 in 44 overs in their second innings against Himachal Pradesh at Day 2 Stumps in a Group D Ranji Trophy match being played at DRIEMS Ground, here on Saturday.
Top order batsman Sandeep Pattnaik, once again was busy trying to rescue Odisha and help the home side put up a good second innings total to challenge the opposition.
Like his valiant efforts against Jammu and Kashmir at the same venue in the previous match, Pattnaik showed enough maturity and application on a pitch where usually bowlers (especially pacers) dominate the proceedings
When umpires called off play for Day 2, Pattnaik was unbeaten on 78 in 121 balls, with 12 boundaries in the picturesque DRIEMS Ground.
After two early wickets, the hosts were in dire trouble. But then Pattnaik shared a vital 75 runs partnership with his former skipper Govinda Poddar for the third wicket, and the duo somewhat rescued Odisha from further troubles.
But once Poddar was clean bowled by Himachal right arm pacer Vaibhav Arora, it appeared Odisha would face yet another batting collapse this season.
But towards the end of the day, Pattnaik was ably supported by seasoned war-horse Biplab Samantray, who did well to score 9 runs in 27 balls, thereby ensuring that there is no further setbacks on the day.
Earlier, in reply to Odisha's first innings score of 138, Himachal Pradesh were bundled out by the hosts for 176. The 38 runs first innings lead on a low-scoring track could be vital for the visitors.
But if Sandeep Pattnaik and Biplab Samantray can survive the first session of play on Sunday morning, it would definite be advantage Odisha.
This season Odisha have suffered two losses and have only 3 points from three matches. If they lose this battle at Tangi, then they are likely to slip further in the Points Table this season.
Brief Scores (Stumps Day 2):
Odisha 138 & 157/3 (44 overs).