Kolkata: Medium pacer Pritam Das claimed a career best 5-30 to guide Assam to their second consecutive win, thrashing Odisha by eight wickets in the East Zone leg of the Vijay Hazare Trophy One-Day Championship here on Saturday. Bu virtue of their successive bonus point victories, Assam has brightened their chances of making the knock-out phase of the tournament.
Assam, who thrashed Tripura in their opening match, shot up to the top of the table with 10 points to emerge favourites ahead of the all-India knock-out stage. It was a good toss to win for Assam skipper Abu Nechim Ahmed as their pacers exploited the lively Eden Gardens greentop in an overcast condition to bowl out Odisha for 140 in 46.1 overs.
With a five-wicket haul, Pritam turned out to be the hero in Assam's eight-wicket victory over a listless Odisha. In reply, Assam overwhelmed the target in 34.3 overs with opener Pallav Das scoring a fluent 62 from 96 balls with the help of nine fours.
Pallav along with former Maharashtra skipper Dheeraj Jadhav (20) put on 61 run for the first wicket before the latter got out. With little assistance from the pitch, Das along with Sibsankar Roy took on the Odisha bowlers to set up the match for Assam with a 61-run second wicket stand.
In the morning, it was once again a spineless display by the Odisha batsmen as they were reduced to 83 for five with youngster Pritam at his best. Govind Podder (50) was Odisha's top-scorer before Assam bundled them out in 46.1 overs.
"It was a good toss to win, the overcast conditions aided seam bowling. It was just about bowling in line and length, the ball did the rest," Pritam said. Having suffered their second successive loss, Odisha were in the brink of elimination and coach Debasis Mohanty said they were in the process of team-building.
"Our's is a young unit and in a process of rebuilding. We will have to wait for about two years for the results to show and we're ready to wait," Mohanty said.