Defeat stared Odisha in the face as they struggled at 229 for six in the second innings at stumps on the penultimate day of their four-day Group-B Ranji Trophy match against host Delhi at Ferozeshah Kotla ground in Delhi on Saturday.
Trailing by 188 runs in the first innings, Odisha now lead by 41 runs with four wickets in hand. The visitors, however, put up much better batting performance in the second innings thanks to a fighting knock of 85 by Govind Poddar and his 84-run stand for the third wicket with Biplab Samantaray, who missed a half-century by three runs. Poddar faced 171 balls and hit 15 boundaries.
At one stage Odisha were well-placed at 202 for three and raised hopes of compiling a big total in the second innings. But the loss of three quick wickets for 23 runs brought the team back to a vulnerable position.
When stumps were drawn for the day, skipper Natraj Behera was holding the fort on 35 and all-rounder Deepak Behera was giving him company on four.
Earlier, resuming their second innings at seven for no loss, Odisha suffered an early setback as Paresh Patel fell to Sumit Narwal for six. Makeshift opener Abhilash Mallick made 26 before he was trapped in front of the wicket by P Suyal.