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Sibsankar excels

Calcutta: It turned out to be a game of mediocre batting performances. That of Odisha was even worse as Assam recorded a comprehensive 35-run win to get their Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy campaign back on track, on Wednesday, here, at the Jadavpur University Salt Lake Campus ground.

Considering they were outplayed by Bengal in their opening game of the zonal leg, this victory should boost the confidence of Assam, who should be in a better position in the zone now as they prepare to take on punching bags Tripura on Thursday.

On a surface where batting wasn’t the easiest thing to do, Assam bundled Odisha out for a paltry 102 with 16 balls to spare after being restricted to 137 for six.

Promoted up the order, Sibsankar Roy top scored with a 29-ball 47 that propelled Assam at the death overs. Later, Pritam Das (4/19) bowled an immaculate line to which Odisha batsmen simply had no answers whatsoever.

Odisha, though, had got off to brisk start in their pursuit of the target. Openers Paresh Patel and Natraj Behera picked up as many as 15 runs in the first over, bowled by Abu Nechim Ahmed, of their chase.

But in the very next, Arup Das removed Natraj and Sujit Lenka off successive balls that shook Odisha. To be precise, Odisha just couldn’t recover after the double blow.

Walking in at 19 for two, captain Biplab Samantray looked to be stitching a partnership with Paresh. But in trying to pull a delivery that wasn’t short at all and kept a shade low, Samantray saw his stumps in disarray, with Pritam striking off his very first ball in the match.