Fans at Veer Surendra Sai Stadium, Sambalpur, were disappointed at the result less draw of the Group B Ranji Trophy match between Odisha and Maharashtra, with both sides batting for eternity on a wicket that had nothing for the bowlers.
Ending the third day of play with 73 runs on the board for the loss of one wicket, Maharashtra resumed batting on the final day with HH Khadiwale on 43 and SD Atitkar on 24.The two batsmen, luckily, continued their insurmountable batting onslaught by taking the score to 183 before Khadiwale had his stumps shattered everywhere on a delivery bowled by Samal. The batsman hit the showers after hammering a knock of 92 runs.
This was not the end for them, as the third-wicket partnership between SD Atitkar and AR Bawne humiliated the Odisha bowlers, who were by this time struggling to keep up with the raging batting onslaught.
The fielding side, were perhaps wishing for the day to end, which would finally give them a chance to catch some shade.
Finally with 208 runs on the scoreboard, they lost Atitkar, who was clean-bowled by Samal after playing a nifty knock of 88 runs.
With the main batsman back in the pavilion, this was the perfect time for the bowling brigade to make a comeback.
Later having 219 on the board, Odisha grabbed the wicket of the opposition skipper, RH Motwani, who was disappointing with his six-run knock.
Finally, KM Jadhav was the last wicket of the day, as he was also bowled by Samal, after scoring 23 runs.
With Samal hitting timber, he was looking unstoppable until the arrival of CG Khurana, who halted Odisha’s bowling onslaught by moulding a partnership with AR Bawne.
Both batsmen stayed unbeaten on 52 as they saw the day come to an end after posting 333 runs on the board.
From Maharashtra, LL Samal, was outstanding with a four-wicket haul, and had he not been countered by the opposition, he might have gone on to bowl-out the whole team.