Biplab Samantray took three wickets as pacers put Odisha on top against Vidarbha on the opening day of their Group B Ranji Trophy match at the DRIEMS Ground in Cuttack on Saturday.
Right-arm medium pacer Samantray (3 for 27) did the bulk of the damage while Basant Mohanty and Alok Chandra Sahoo also shone with two wickets each as Odisha restricted the visitors to 188 for eight at stumps.
Gaurav Upadhyaya (30) and Sumit Ruikar (3) were at the crease when stumps were drawn for the day.
This match is of critical importance to both teams as Odisha are on 16 points from six games while Vidarbha have 13 from an equal number of matches played. A win here could put them in top three, and thus quarter-final contention.
Vidarbha were off to a poor start losing opener Shiv Sunder Das for eight. Faiz Fazal (30) and Amol Ubarhande (38) took the score to 48 with their 32-run stand for the second wicket but Alok Sahoo broke the partnership when he castled the former.
Three balls later, Shalabh Shrivastava departed without troubling the scorers as he played across the line to a Alok Sahoo delivery and his middle stump went for a walk.
Vidarbha were left reeling at 48 for three but the fourth-wicket pair of Hemang Badani (40) and Ubarhande put up a good resistance and took the team past 100-run mark with their 74-run stand.
Vidarbha never recovered from the twin blows and kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. Skipper Sairaj Bahutule did try to put up some fight with his 42-ball 17 but became Samantray's third victim.
Mohanty ran through Vidarbha's lower order as the visitors ended the day on a disappointing note.
Vidarbha (1st innings): 188 for 8 in 87 overs (Hemang Badani 40, Amol Ubarhande 38; Biplab Samantray 3/27, Basant Mohanty 2/23).