Special Correspondent

SAMBALPUR: Orissa fought back gallantly after restricting Tamil Nadu to 361 in its first innings by ending the second day at 173 for one in the Ranji Trophy Group ‘A’ Super League at the Veer Surendra Sai Stadium here on Wednesday.

Despite losing opener Bikas Swarup Pati first ball — leg before to Ganapathy — skipper and opener Shib Sundar Das (71 batting) and No. 3 Niranjan Behera (88 batting) took the battle to the TN camp with sensible but contrasting knocks.

Contrasting approach

If Das was cool and correct in his approach, Behera was enterprising, playing shots all round the wicket. The two put on an unbroken 173-run stand for the second wicket in 65.5 overs. The duo took lunch at 26 for one and tea at 98 for one, and added a further 75 between tea and close giving an indication of the condition of the pitch on which the seven-man TN attack toiled for a breakthrough.

Das’s unbeaten 71 — his 49th half century — came off a four-and-a-half-hour vigil with the aid of 11 fours and a six while Behera’s undefeated 88 — his 17th half-century — was scored in 271 minutes off 225 balls with 16 firmly hit boundaries.

Behera offered two chances when on 18 — after Arun Karthik failed to hold on to a sharp chance at gully off L. Balaji, he skied the next ball in trying to hook, only for the ball to fall short of Aushik Srinivas at fine-leg.

Earlier, TN was dismissed for 361 in its first innings 55 minutes before lunch. Resuming at 323 for five, TN lost the remaining five wickets in the next 22 overs for the addition of only 38 runs. Arun Karthik (118), having played so well on the first day, shuffled across to a straighter one and was dismissed leg before off the third ball of the day bowled by Alok Sahu without adding to his overnight score. Four runs later, R. Ashwin left, followed by Ganapathy for a well-made 72. The scores:

Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: S. Anirudha lbw b Singh 53, A. Mukund c H. Das b D. Mohanty 14, K.B. Arun Karthik lbw b Sahu 118, D. Karthik lbw b Singh 1, R. Prasanna b D. Mohanty 28, R. Sathish c & b Mallick 43, C. Ganapathy c R.R. Das b P. Das 72, R. Ashwin c S.S. Das b Sahu 0, V.Yomahesh (not out) 17, L. Balaji c Behera b Singh 0, A. Srinivas st. H. Das b Singh 0; Extras (b-1, lb-7, nb-3,w-4): 15. Total (in 112 overs): 361.

Fall of wickets: 1-40, 2-89, 3-100, 4-149, 5-220, 6-324, 7-328, 8-358, 9-359.

Orissa bowling: D. Mohanty 19-7-43-2, Sahu 21-3-79-2, Das 22.3-5-62-1, Singh 31-5-109-4, Behera 3-0-13-0, R. Mohanty 8-2-25-0, Mallick 7.3-1-22-1.

Orissa — 1st innings: B. Pati lbw b Ganapathy 0, S.S. Das (batting) 71, N. Behera (batting) 88; Extras (b-6, lb-5, nb-3): 14. Total (for one wkt. in 66 overs): 173.

Fall of wicket: 1-0.

Tamil Nadu bowling: Ganapathy 12-2-23-1, Balaji 13-1-36-0, Sathish 3-1-6-0, Ashwin 13-3-25-0, Aushik 16-8-35-0, Yomahesh 5-0-23-0, Abhinav 4-1-14-0.

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