Calcutta: Govind Podders maiden century (136) went in vain as Assam posted a comprehensive victory against Odisha, in their second zonal leg match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, at the Eden, on Wednesday.
The target — 259 — wasnt too steep, but it wasnt too easy either. But Assam displayed efficient batting to win the match in 45.1 overs, losing only four wickets.
It was Assams second victory on the trot and they now lead the points table with nine points from two matches.
The architects of the Assam chase were opener Dheeraj Jadhav (77), middle-order batsman Sibsankar Roy (56) and of course Rajagopal Sathish, who smashed an unbeaten 44 off just 28 balls.
With ball, it was Assam captain Gokul Sharma who led from the front. Giving away just 31 runs off his 10 overs and picking some important wickets, Sharma was definitely the reason that Odishas total didnt reach the 280s.
Coming back to batting, Dheeraj recorded his second half-century of the tournament and anchored the innings like he did in the Assams first match, against Tripura.
Sibsankar, on the other hand, made good use of the conditions and played aggressively. He brought up his half-century by hitting a six off a Sumitosh Praharaj bouncer. But he perished soon after when he tried to attempt a similar shot. He was caught at deep square leg by Natraj Behera off an Alok Mangaraj delivery. But the experienced duo of Dheeraj and Sathish showed enough maturity to guide Assam to victory.
Talking of maturity, the Odisha batsmens restlessness let the team down. The pitch had plenty of runs in it and the Odisha batsmen only had to play sensibly after being sent into bat. But they failed to do so.
Although they managed to preserve their wickets in the first 10 overs, they had an extremely slow run rate. And when they tried to accelerate, they played some silly shots and lost their first three batsmen in quick succession to find themselves struggling at 46 for three in 14.1 overs.
Captain Biplab Samantray (43) and Govind steadied the ship as they negotiated the Assam bowlers with ease. The duo stitched a partnership of 107 runs for the fourth wicket. Biplab was done in by Sharma when he came back for his second spell in the 31st over.
But Sharma could not deter Govinds concentration. He thrashed almost all the Assam bowlers in his 121-ball innings. The 20-year old hit 12 boundaries and four sixes during his stay at the wicket.