Agartala, Dec 06, 2023, ENEWSTIME Desk
Tripura's Under-16 cricket team finds itself under pressure against Odisha in the ongoing Vijay Merchant Trophy, with Tripura batsmen continuing to struggle. Odisha bowlers, led by Abhinit K Pattanaik's seven-wicket haul, bundled out Tripura for a paltry 82 runs.
However, Tripura's bowlers have provided some much-needed relief, offering a glimmer of hope for a comeback on Thursday. Riyad Hussain (2 for 13) and Dwip Deb (2 for 25) of Tripura struck back and reduced Odisha to 5-down on the first day of play on Wednesday.
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Odisha captain Subhashish Mallick won the toss in the morning and invited Tripura to bat first on Wednesday. Taking the field at the Mangaldai Cricket Stadium in Assam, Tripura were all out for a paltry 82 runs in just 48.3 overs. Odisha's Abhinit K Pattanaik proved to be a nightmare for Tripura's batsmen, claiming a staggering 7 wickets for just 21 runs.
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Only Riyad Hussain, batting at number 4, managed to show some resistance with a defiant 32 runs off 71 balls, including 6 boundaries. Debajyoti Pal tried to stay in the crease and also chipped in with 15 runs from 83 deliveries. However, no other Tripura batsman could reach double figures, highlighting the team's batting struggles.
In response, Odisha initially mirrored Tripura's batting woes, losing 5 wickets for 91 runs by the end of the first day's play. For Odisha, Swagat Sourav Mishra and Asim Bard provided some stability with handy contributions of 41 and 20 runs, respectively. Skipper Subhashish Mallick also chipped in with 11 runs.
Tripura's bowlers, led by Riyad Hussain (2/13) and Dwip Deb (2/25), managed to restrict Odisha's progress, offering a glimmer of hope for the team. However, with Odisha still holding a slender lead with 5 wickets in hand, all eyes will be on Tripura's bowling attack on Thursday. Their ability to dismiss the remaining Odisha batsmen quickly will be crucial in determining the outcome of the match.
Tripura face an uphill battle, but with their bowlers showing promise, a spirited fightback remains a possibility.