Jharkhand 9 for 0 trail Odisha 152 (Pattnaik 43, Nadeem 4-31, Gupta 3-56) by 143 runs
Odisha were undone by a combination of lackluster batting and disciplined bowling from Jharkhand to get bowled out for 152 on the opening day of their Group B clash at the St Xavier’s College Ground in Thumba.
Saurabh Tiwary, the Jharkhand captain, made a surprising call to field under perfect batting conditions on a warm day with not a cloud in vicinity. But left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem and offspinner Sunny Gupta took seven wickets between them to snuff out Odisha’s resistance in 84 overs on a flat pitch. In reply, Jharkhand’s openers Anand Singh and Sumit Kumar saw off the four remaining overs without fuss.
Odisha lost their wickets in almost equal installments across the first two sessions, but the manner of procession was different. Tiwary took out seamer Ajay Yadav after just two overs to bring in Nadeem in the fifth over of the day. The bounce on the pitch was mostly consistent; while the odd short ball did rear up, fuller ones were easy pickings given the complete absence of swing.
Odisha went into a shell early with Sandeep Pattnaik and Ranjit Singh, their openers, exercising caution against pacers and spinners alike. They batted 27 overs for just 46 runs when the first breakthrough arrived through Nadeem, who extracted bounce from the good-length region to find the outside edge of Ranjit’s bat.
Odisha’s next three batsmen fell for ducks. First, Govinda Poddar, the captain, edged behind while attempting a cut too close to the body off Nadeem, who then fired a direct hit to send back Abhishek Yadav. Soon, left-arm pacer Vikash Singh had Subhranshu Senapati caught behind and Odisha were reeling at 48 for 4.
While the first session had wickets falling to good balls, Odisha hastened the slide with poor strokes in the second. On a normal first-day surface that did not offer unplayable turn, Odisha’s batsmen showed lack of application.
Biplab Samantray steadied the innings for over an hour, adding 36 for the fifth wicket with Pattnaik. Samantray did not hold back from expressing himself, crunching two straight sixes before perishing lbw to Gupta.
Then, Pattnaik, the only Odisha batsman to have shown resolve, gave Nadeem the charge and for a catch to mid-off. More wickets followed with batsmen either trying to force the issue or failing to pick the length.
Basant Mohanty and Dhiraj Singh went into a blockathon to put on a frustrating last-wicket stand of 32 runs that came off 23.5 overs, before Ajay Yadav closed out the innings by trapping Dhiraj lbw for 8 off 74 balls. Mohanty was unbeaten on 17 off 75.
Akshay Gopalakrishnan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.