Biplab Samantaray struck a gritty 89 to help Odisha recover from a disastrous start to end the opening day against Maharashtra on 311 for 9 in their Group B Ranji Trophy cricket match here today. Put into bat, Odisha were reduced to 31 for 3 inside 10 overs in the morning session as their top-order batsmen came a cropper before Samantaray rescued his side's innings at the Krishnagiri Stadium here. Middle-order batsman Samantaray's 98-run stand for the seventh wicket with Deepak Behara, who made 58, helped arrest a slide triggered by Maharashtra's pacers. Anupam Sanklecha (4/75), the bowling spearhead who had picked up 26 wickets in the last two matches, dismissed the top three Odisha batsmen, before Mohsin Sayyad (3/58) did the damage in the middle order. Samantaray, who hit 11 fours in his 192-ball innings, was the last Odisha batsman out and the opening day was closed as soon as his wicket fell in 82.1 overs. Basant Mohanty was batting on 6 at the draw of stumps. Brief Scores: Odisha 1st Innings: 311 for 9 in 82.1 overs (Biplab Samantaray 89, Deepak Behara 58; Anupam Sanklecha 4/75, Mohsin Sayyad 3/58).
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