In a rain-marred encounter, Odisha put up a below par performance at the Moti Bagh Stadium as Baroda secured a nine-wicket win to strengthen their position on the table. Meanwhile, Maharashtra kept their cool under pressure to ensure Himachal Pradesh were below them on the points table.
Odisha 73-all-out (25) lost to Baroda 75-1 (15) by nine wickets
After a win over Vidarbha yesterday, there were celebrations all around in the Odisha cricketing circles but the team returned back to square one when they took on hosts Baroda at the Moti Bagh Stadium in Vadodara. After overhead rain reduced the game to a 25-over-per-side affair, Soyeb Sopariya and Swapnil Singh ran riot with the ball for Baroda as Odisha could only muster 73 runs in the scheduled 25 overs.
Chasing a target of 74 runs was never going to be difficult for the hosts, as they started on a positive note. Even though Debabrata Pradhan sent opener Kedar Devdhar back to the hut in the fourth over, Aditya Waghmode joined forces with Vishnu Solanki to help Baroda big-time. While Solanki was cautious in his approach, Waghmode played more positive cricket to ensure that the team reached the target in 15 overs. While this was Baroda’s second win from nine matches, Odisha, on the virtue of an extra win, are ahead of Baroda on the points table.
Maharashtra 205-7 (48.4) beat Himachal Pradesh 201/9 (50) by three wickets
In another game at the Reliance Stadium, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra played a low-scoring encounter, in which the latter emerged victorious by a margin of three wickets. After winning the toss, Himachal Pradesh lost wickets at a regular interval, and at one point, was reduced to 84/4 in 24.4 overs. While almost everyone was getting starts, only Amit Kumar could convert that to a half-century. He was waging a lone battle and hoped for some contribution from the lower-order in the death overs. However, he got none of it, as the team ended with a score of 201 in 50 overs.
In reply to the run-chase, Maharashtra had a top-order collapse, losing four wickets for 28. In desperate need to arrest the slide, Azim Kazi and Naushad Shaikh batted cautiously and took the team to 137/5, before Shaikh got out. Nikhil Naik’s unbeaten 32 and Shamshuzama Kazi’s patient vigil of 35 runs helped them cross past the target, rising above Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh on the points table of Elite Group A and B.