Rashmi Ranjan Parida's unbeaten 70 helped Orissa escape defeat and snatch two valuable points on the final day of their four-day Ranji Trophy Plate Division match against Maharashtra, which ended in a draw in Cuttack on Thursday.
Maharashtra could not garner any point from the match that they dominated for nearly three days.
Chasing 313 for an outright victory, Orissa finished the match at 219 for nine in their second innings.
The hosts, who were 14 for no loss last evening, received a jolt early today when opener BBCC Mohapatra departed on his overnight score of 11, spooning a catch to Ranjit Khirid off medium pacer Iqbal Siddiqui.
But prospects of an Orissa win appeared on the horizon when all-rounder Niranjan Behera, promoted in the order, shared a 84-run stand with other opener Subrat Behera.
Subrat, who hit nine fours in his 56, however, was bowled by off spinner Kiran Adhav. Niranjan also fell almost immediately edging Siddiqui to wicket keeper Satyajit Satbhai for 27 as the pendulum swung in Maharahstra's favour.
Skipper Sanjay Raul and Parida then tried to stem the rot adding 55 runs for the fourth wicket with Orissa back in the hunt once again. But the match appeared to slip out of Orissa's hands when Raul fell for 27.
Though Parida (237 minutes, eight fours) stood firm, wickets began to fall around him in the last two sessions.
Maharashtra appeared to have the tie in the pocket when the ninth wicket fell with only 210 runs on the board.
But last man Srikant Jena, playing in only his second Ranji match, survived 11 balls to help his side secure two points.
Maharashtra (1st innings): 77
Orissa (1st innings): 204
Maharashtra (2nd innings): 439 for eight decl.
Orissa (2nd innings): (overnight 14 for no loss)
BBCC Mohapatra c Khirid b Siddiqui 11
S Behera b Adhav 57
N Behera c Satbhai b Siddiqui 27
R R Parida not out 70
Sanjay Raul lbw Kulkarni 27
P Mullick lbw Adhav 4
Sukhwinder Singh lbw Kulkarni 2
D Mohanty lbw Kulkarni 0
S Satpathy lbw Khirid 2
Bipin Singh lbw Khirid 2
Srikanta Jena not out 2
Extras: (b-2, lb-1, nb-10, w-2) 15
Total: (for 9 wkts, 96 overs) 219
Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-102, 3-104, 4-159, 5-168, 6-180, 7-183, 8-207, 9-210.
Bowling: Iqbal Siddiqui 20-3-42-2, Ranjit Khirid 16-2-56-2, Kiran Adhav 35-12-72-2, Charu Kulkarni 14-5-23-3, Kashinath Khadkikar 11-1-23-0.
Saurashtra beat Himachal Pradesh by seven wickets
Timely contributions by Saurashtra's top order batsmen helped them beat Himachal Pradesh by seven wickets on the fourth and final day of a Plate 'B' Ranji Trophy match and secure four points, in Rajkot on Thursday.
Saurashtra needed 230 for an outright win after Himachal Pradesh declared their second innings on 324 for eight at lunch. They took up the challenge and achieved the target succesfully in 51.2 overs, losing three wickets.
Captain Sitanshu Kotak remained unbeaten on 73 and Firoz Bambhani was not out on 58. Pinch-hitter Jaydev Shah scored 35 in 50 balls with six fours while vice-captain Prakash Bhatt scored 34 in 38 balls with four boundaries.
For Himachal Pradesh, A Thakur was the only successfuly bowler, claiming three wickets for 42 runs.
Earlier, Himachal Pradesh, resuming at their overnight score of 171 for four, declared their second innings at 324 for eight at lunch.
V Sharma made 78 with 12 boundaries while A Manu made 67 with eight fours and a six.
For Saurashtra, A Merchant and N Odedara shared two wickets each.
Services beat Goa by 78 runs
Sudhakar Ghagh and Arun Sharma claimed four wickets each as Services beat Goa by 78 runs in their Ranji Trophy Plate 'B' match, at the Panjim Gymkhana in Goa on Thursday, to secure four points.
Chasing 249 runs for victory, Goa struggled against some hostile bowling from Ghagh and Sharma before being bundled out for 171 in their second innings.
Resuming at their overnight score of 16 for no loss, Goa's hopes of winning the game, after their bowlers restricted Services to 179 in their second innings, were dashed by some poor umpiring by Suresh Dev (Pune) and Dr Shakar Choudhary (Kolkata).
Four of Goa's top batsmen returned to the pavilion after bad decisions by the two umpires, which irked the home team supporters so much so that they invaded the ground and stopped play for 35 minutes in the post-lunch session.
Goa opening batsman Vivek Kolambkar, Swapnil Asnodkar, Sagun Kamat and Mandar Phadte were controversially given out by the umpires.
Rajesh Naik, who led Goa's fightback, took the score to 139 for six at tea before he was caught by Chawda off Ghagh for 42.
Sharma and Ghagh then sent the remaining batsmen back to the pavilion to fashion Services' victory.
Haryana - Tripura match ends in draw
The Plate Group 'A' Ranji Trophy match between hosts Haryana and Tripura ended in a draw at the Maharaja Aggarsain Stadium in Rohtak on Thursday.
Hosts Haryana were awarded two points by virtue of their 136-run first innings lead.
Tripura did not get any point from the outing.
Resuming at their overnight score of 216 for 3, Tripura were bowled out for 325 in reply to the hosts' first innings score of 461 for six declared.
Tirtha Roy made a sparkling 118 while Chetan Sachdev remained not out on 67.
For Haryana, Pradeep Sahu was the most successful bowler with figures of six for 96.
Haryana were 110 for 2 in their second innings when the match was called off.