Special Correspondent

CUTTACK: The opening day’s script unfolded as envisaged by Orissa in its Elite Ranji Trophy group A league match against Hyderabad till two individuals took upon themselves the onerous task of changing it at the Barabati Stadium on Monday.

The visiting team extricated itself from 58 for three to end the day at a healthy 228 for five in 89.2 overs, thanks to opener Dwaraka Ravi Teja’s 71 and middle-order bat S. Anoop Pai’s responsible 78. These invaluable knocks, perhaps, saved Hyderabad from a disastrous beginning to the season.

Orissa skipper Shib Sundar Das put the opposition in on a pitch that assisted seam bowling. Veteran Debasis Mohanty caught Tirumalsetti Suman leg before off the first ball and then had debutant Doddapaneni Rushi Raj’s off-stump cartwheeling when the left-hander shouldered arms to a superb incoming delivery that pitched and moved sharply.

Mohantys bowl well

With two Mohantys, Debasis and last year’s new find, Basant, moving the ball so well, it looked like Hyderabad would be routed for a paltry total. It was not to be as captain N. Arjun Yadav, surviving a confident shout off the first ball, and Teja produced 34 runs for the third wicket before Yadav drove a low ball back to left-arm pacer Preetamjit Das.

S. Anoop Rai joined Teja and the two showed enormous patience in the face of some inspired seam bowling to go into the lunch at 97 for three in 33 overs. After the two lifted Hyderabad’s total past 100 in 33.3 overs, Teja reached his 10th half century in 14 first class matches. Two runs later, wicketkeeper Haladhar Das reprieved Teja off Basant.

With the stress more on caution than exuberance, the two added 79 runs for the fourth wicket in 29.5 overs that steadied the fortunes of Hyderabad. Teja finally fell leg-before to Das after a well-made 71 (8x4, 1x6). He and Pai added 79 runs in 29.5 overs.

Then, Pai and wicketkeeper Abhinav Kumar continued the good work, taking the team to 167 for four in 60 overs at tea. Soon, Pai reached his third half-century in nine matches and the team’s total went past 200 in 73.5 overs.

The second new ball, taken at 84.4 overs, brought success to the home side as Pai failed to read Basant’s delivery that hastened off the pitch and was caught in front. Pai’s 78 (8x4, 1x6) had come at the right time for Hyderabad. He and Kumar added 91 runs for the fifth wicket in 39.1 overs.

Orissa’s fielding was sloppy, to say the least. All the good work down by the bowlers was nullified by the shoddy work on the field.

The scores:

Hyderabad — 1st innings: T. Suman lbw b D. Mohanty 0, D. Ravi Teja lbw b P. Das 71, D. Rushi Raj b D. Mohanty 15, N. Arjun Yadav c & b P. Das 9, S. Anoop Pai lbw b B. Mohanty 78, Abhinav Kumar (batting) 48, Extras (b-6, w-1) 7; Total (for five in 89.2 overs) 228.

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-24, 3-58, 4-137, 5-228.

Orissa bowling: D. Mohanty 20-7-43-2, B. Mohanty 23.2-7-54-1, P. Das 14-3-41-2, P. Jayachandra 2-0-14-0, Sourabh Sehga1 15-0-57-0, R. Mohanty 6-2-7-0, N. Behera 9-4-6-0.

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