Odisha batsmen defended doggedly to delay an inevitable defeat as Delhi bowlers struggled on a dead Feroz Shah Kotla wicket on the penultimate day of the second round Ranji Trophy.
Orissa were 229 for six at stumps at the end of third day's play with a lead of 41 runs and four wickets in hand. Delhi captain Shikhar Dhawan admitted that there is nothing much for the bowlers on this track.
"There is nothing on this track. Agreed that batsmen will find it difficult to score runs on this track but at the same time the bowlers also can't get them out. It's that slow a wicket," lamented Dhawan who lauded his pace trio of Sumit Narwal (3/41), Pawan Suyal (2/62) and Parvinder Awana (1/40) for their effort on an unresponsive Kotla track.
Largely due to Gobind Poddar's fighting 85 and a patient 47 from Biplab Samantray, Orissa played the 88 overs in the day with a lot of resolve.
Although there were no big partnerships but 84 runs were added for the third wicket by Samantray and Poddar. Poddar batted patiently for 171 balls with 15 boundaries while Samantray played 163 balls hitting seven fours in the process.
While Narwal bowled to a disciplined line throughout the day, Awana looked dangerous whenever he pitched the ball up and one such delivery help him breach Rakesh Mohanty's defence.
The disappointment for Delhi was India U-19 left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra. Mishra gave only 34 runs in his 24 overs but considering the low nature of the wicket, he bowled a lot of half trackers that helped the batsmen to get set.
Odisha 143 & 229/6 (Gobind Poddar 85,Biplab Samantray 47, S Narwal 3/41, P Suyal 2/62). Delhi 331 all out.