Tangi (Cuttack): Hosts Odisha had a hard day on field. They were on a long leather hunt against Uttarakhand. The visitors on the contrary, dominated the Day 1 play of the Elite Group D Ranji Trophy match at DRIEMS Ground, here on Friday.
At stumps on first day, Uttarakhand were in full command with a first innings score of 232/3 in 90 overs. Top order batter Vaibhav Bhatt was unbeaten on 101 in 289 balls. Vaibhav hit 12 boundaries and a six in his patient, nearly flawless, compact and a typical red-ball knock.
Vaibhav shared a marathon 180 runs partnership in 63.3 overs with his skipper Jiwanjot Singh, who was dismissed for 90 in 178 balls. Jiwanjot was stumped by young Odisha keeper Asirwad Swain off left-arm spinner Harshit Rathod.
Earlier in the day, Odisha pace spearhead Rajesh Mohanty removed Uttarakhand opener Kunal Chandela for a duck. The other opener Sanjeet Sajwan too departed early after putting on board only 7 runs. Right-arm pacer Sunil Roul clean bowled him.
Odisha with two early scalps, put the visitors on back foot for some-time. But the 180-run partnership between centurion Vaibhav and skipper Sanjeet Sajwan allowed Uttarakhand to strengthen their hold.
Odisha's lack of quality spin attack this season transpired again, as the visitors played with ease once the new ball lost its shine. The slower bowlers when came into the act, were easily tackled by Uttarakhand batters.
Odisha captain Shanatanu Mishra tried as many as 7 bowling options, but without much impact or luck.
It would be interesting to see how Uttarakhand bat on Day 2 first session. On Friday, they faced 90 overs and scored 232/3 at a run rate of 2.57.
At this juncture of the four-day match, that approach seems perfectly okay. But when play resumes on Saturday, they can put the hosts under more pressure, if they don't lose quick wickets and score another 70-80 runs in the first session.
But if it is vice versa, then Odisha will get an opportunity to sneak back into the match. To be more precise, if Uttarakhand lose quick wickets before Lunch on Saturday, then Odisha would definitely get a chance to call the shots.
This season. Odisha have played five matches so far. They have won one, lost two and managed a first innings lead on two occasions. Before sharing honours with Puducherry at Barabati recently, they did beat Himachal Pradesh at DRIEMS Ground, here.
Prior to that, Odisha have lost to Baroda by 147 runs in Vadodara, drawn with Madhya Pradesh in Indore (enjoyed first innings lead though), 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 232/3 in 90 overs (Vaibhab Bhatt 101*, Jiwanjot Singh 90, Rajesh Mohanty 1/25).
Match to Continue.