With Odisha placed at 98 for 4 at the end of the first session at IS Bindra PCA Stadium, youngster Subhransu Senapati was seen spending some time with Odisha coach and former Indian speedster Debasis Mohanty. Mohanty was telling the 19-year-old about the pull shot and leaving the ball.
The following session would see Senapati play 65 dot balls as he put on 141 runs with Biplab Samantaray before Delhi spinners dismissed Odisha for 237.
If the day started with Delhi workhorse Sumit Narwal utilising the conditions to claim the scalps of Odisha openers Sandeep Pattanaik and Ranjit Singh, medium pacer Vikas Tokas did not let Delhi miss the injured pace duo of Pradeep Sangwan and Navdeep Saini by removing skipper Govind Poddar.
Senapati and Samantaray would then start a 86-ball vigil till lunch which saw them face 69 dot balls. “Narwal and Ishant were bowling well in the first session and when I walked in to bat, I was facing some problems with the pull shot. Mohanty sir told me to concentrate on this shot and said the key was to decide when to go for the shot and when to leave,” shared Senapati.
Senapati carved seven boundaries in the middle session to make Delhi skipper Gautam Gambhir mull his options. While Samantaray raced past Senapati with five boundaries and a six off Manan Sharma, the latter worked the bowling around and reached the second half-century of his debut Ranji season. Senapati only plays on turf wickets when he trains in Cuttack.
“There are no turf wickets in Kendujhar and we practise with the players from the three clubs in the town. The only opportunity I get to train on turf wicket is when we have state camps and that’s also the time when I get a chance to spend time with Odisha Academy coach Shib Sunder Das,” said Senapati.
Spinners take control
Left-arm spinner Varun Sood started the slide for Odisha when he removed Samanataray in the penultimate over before tea and when Ishant accounted for Senapati after a 189-minute knock of 76, a score beyond 250 looked daunting for Odisha. The tail had no answer to Sood and Manan’s spin post tea and the duo took two wickets each in the space of eight overs. Gautam Gambhir and Unmukt Chand batted through the last hour with Delhi finishing the day at 43 for no loss in 10 overs.
Brief scores: Odisha: 237 (Subhransu Senapati 76, Biplab Samantaray 62, Govind Poddar 24; Varun Sood 3/23) vs Delhi: 43/0 in 10 overs.