Divyang spot on; State log 2nd win

Skipper Ruturaj on fire, scores third 50 on trot

Divyang spot on; State log 2nd win
Divyang Hinganekar (4/35)

PUNE: Skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad is taking his role ‘very seriously’ and likewise shouldering full responsibility to be a role model for his side.

For the third successive time, he scored a half-century (81 off 47 balls) to power Maharashtra to a 27-run win over Odisha in a Round III - Elite Group A, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy encounter at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow.

As a result, Maharashtra (8 points) logged their second win on the trot and position themselves behind group leaders and reigning champions Tamil Nadu (12 points).

Opting to bat first after winning the toss, skipper Gaikwad led the way for his team.

Having registered fifties against TN and Punjab, the stylish right-hander toyed with the Odisha attack and shared a 131-run partnership for the second wicket with India discard Kedar Jadhav, who made 55 from 35 balls.

The quickfire partnership which came in less than 12 overs put Maharashtra on track for a big score. Gaikwad played his trademark elegant drives and did not hesitate to go for the big shots. His dismissal in the 15th over came as some relief for the Odisha bowlers as the rest of the batters could not continue in same vein.

In reply, Odisha lost skipper Rajesh Dhupar with the score at 18 and barring the 56-run second-wicket partnership between Anshuman Rath (34) and Subhranshu Senapathi (27), their batters could not take the fight to the Maharashtra bowlers.

Left-arm medium-pacer Divyang Hinganekar was the best bowler for Maharashtra, returning figures of 4/35.