Bhubaneswar: Opener Rahul Dewan hit a magnificent 273 to ensure that Haryana remained in the top tier of Ranji Trophy after taking a 384-run first-innings lead against Odisha on the third and penultimate day of their final Group A league match here on Monday.
A win for Odisha is now out of equation as they trail by 351 runs overall after ending the day at 33 for no loss in their second innings.
Three points from a draw on the basis of first innings lead will be enough for Haryana to push Jharkhand to the bottom of the nine-team Group A table, thereby saving themselves from relegating to Group C.
Dewan, batting on 136 overnight, extended his score to 273 and his third-wicket partnership with Sachin Rana to 311, as Haryana declared on a mammoth 626 for four with two other batsmen also scoring centuries.
Dewan faced 461 balls and struck 35 fours in bettering his previous best first-class score of 254 not out. Rana made 157 from 213 balls, with 14 fours and six sixes. His dismissal brought to the crease wicketkeeper Nitin Saini, who hit an unbeaten 114-ball 102 that contained nine fours and five sixes. Saini put on 150 with Dewan for the fourth-wicket in just 182 balls.
Odisha: 242 and 33 for no loss in 16 overs (Govind Podder 14 batting, Girija Rout batting 19)
Haryana: 626 for 4 in 149 overs (Rahul Dewan 273, Sachin Rana 157, Nitin Saini 102 not out).