Picture for representation purpose only. (Getty Images)
New Delhi: Wicket-keeper Saurabh Rawat made a career-best 85 while Biplab Samantray hit 58 to help Odisha take the all-important first innings lead over fancied Karnataka in a Group B Ranji Trophy cricket match, here on Tuesday.
Resuming at the overnight score of 42 for two in reply to Karnataka's paltry first innings total of 179, Odisha finished at 318 for nine in 111 overs at stumps on the second day of the four-day match at the Palam ground here.
Odisha, thus, lead Karnataka by 139 runs with just a wicket in hand.
In fact, at one stage Odisha were in a spot of bother at 79 for five before Samantray and Abhishek Yadav (33) stabilised the innings with a crucial 61-run partnership for the sixth wicket.
After Abhishek's dismissal, Samantray stitched another vital partnership of 106 runs with Rawat to ensure the first innings lead for Odisha before both fell to leg-break bowler Shreyas Gopal.
Rawat's runs came off 124 balls with the help of 12 boundaries and one six.
Besides, skipper Govind Podder also played a good hand up the order with a fine 44.
Gopal turned out to be the pick of the bowlers for Karnataka with figures of five for 73 from 24 overs.
In New Delhi, Openers Faiz Fazal (94) and Sanjay Ramaswamy (77) shared a gritty-171 run stand to take Vidarbha closer to Saurashtra's 301 on day two.
The openers, starting at an overnight four for no loss, batted for better part of the day to guide Vidarbha to 242 for three at stumps with the team needing another 60 runs for the first innings lead.
Saurashtra had scored 301 on the opening day at the back of Sheldon Jackson's century.
Both Ramaswamy and Fazal were at the crease together for 59.3 overs and both played with patience, consuming 190 and 204 balls respectively.
Shalabh Shrivastava and Jitesh Sharma were batting on 31 and six at close of play.
In Wayanad, young Rishabh Pant's dream season continued as he snatched the limelight from India internationals Gautam Gambhir and Shikhar Dhawan with a breathtaking 75 off 59 balls that had nine boundaries and three sixes in an encounter against Rajasthan.
In reply to Rajasthan's 238, Delhi ended their first innings at 307 taking a 69-run lead.
In the second innings, Rajasthan were 19 for 1 and with two days left, the Gautam Gambhir-led side will be aiming for full points to stay in contention for the knock-out stage.
In the morning, Gambhir (10) was cleaned by left-arm seamer Aniket Chaudhary.
Dhawan started the day on 29 and hit two more boundaries as both openers fell at the identical score of 52.
The stocky Pant came in at the fall of Nitish Rana's (24) wicket and started carting the bowlers with utter disdain.
He did tonk slow medium pacer Puneet Yadav for three maximums as well driving the faster bowlers with ease.
Pant batted for just an hour and half but he looked cut above the rest. He has now scored 874 runs during this season.
The left-hander was bowled by seamer Tanvir ul Haq as Delhi were reduced to 196 for 5. Suddenly they slumped to 204 for 7 before Sumit Narwal (34) hit 4 sixes off left-arm spinner Mahipal Lomror to ensure that Delhi are assured of three points from the game.
In another match, Chirag Khurana scored an unbeaten 112 as Maharashtra posted a mammoth 542 on day two of their Ranji Trophy Group B against Assam.
Maharashtra, resuming their first innings from 352 for five, ended up with a formidable total thanks to Khurana a day after Kedar Jadhav had smashed a quickfire 115.
Assam were 132 for three at stumps with opener Rishav Das and Kunal Saikia batting on 53 and 38 respectively.
Anupam Sanklecha too all three wickets for Maharashtra, who have firm control on the proceedings going into day three.