Orissa inching towards first innings lead against Vadodara

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Vadodara, Dec 26 (UNI) A chanceless unbeaten century by skipper Shiv Sundar Das (100) and his 82-run unbroken fourth wicket partnership with debutant Payas Rajan Sinha (43) enabled Orissa hit up a healthy 204 for three against Vadodara on the second day of their four-day Elite Group ''B'' Ranji trophy match at the Motibagh Palace ground here today.

Trailing by 51 runs with seven wickets in hand, the visitors were all set to take the most vital first innings lead over Vadodara, who folded up their innings at 255 barely 15 minutes after resumption of play today.

The two overnight Vadodara batsmen--Sankalp Vohra (not out 56,5x4) and Sunit singh (32), who salvaged the side from a precarious 170 for nine to 241 without further loss at stumps yesterday, ended up at 255 when medium pacer Debashis Mohanty had his third scalp dismissing Singh in his third over.

Orissa skipper Das, a former Test opener, who hit his first ton in the current season, smashed 10 boundaries and a huge six off Rajesh Pawar over mid-off in his 100-run unbeaten knock which came off 262 balls.

After the other opener Bikash Pati (24) made his exit at the score of 38, Das ably led the side to a commanding position with two fruitful partnership of 65 and 82 runs respectively with Niranjan Behera (31) and debutant Payas Ranjan Sinha (not out 43, 7x4).

Orissa, who were 74 for one at lunch, lost two more wickets of Behera and Parida in the post-lunch session for an addition of another 73 runs. Vadodara skipper Connor Williams used all his tricks, but could not separate Das and Sinha till the bells were drawn for the day.

For Vadodara, Singh claimed two for 38 runs and left-arm spinner Rajesh Pawar bagged one for 42 runs.

With 10 points from five matches, Orissa desparately needs an outright victory in their last league match against Vadodara to be in the reckoning as hosts are leading the table with 18 points followed by Uttar Pradesh (14), Andhra Pradesh (12) and Hyderabad (10).

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