Bhubaneswar: Natraj and Niranjan Behera struck half centuries as Orissa scored 177 for three after following-on in their Ranji Trophy Super League Group B against Punjab which ended in a draw on the fourth and final day here on Saturday.
Punjab pushed for an outright victory at the East Coast Railway Sports Association, but Natraj and Niranjan held on to ensure that the visitors take home only three points from the match.
Resuming their first innings at 216 for seven on Saturday, Orissa folded up for 264, with Manpreet Gony and Sarabjit Ladda finishing with four-wicket hauls.
With a first-innings lead of 286, Punjab enforced the follow-on but were stone-walled for 58 overs by the determined Orissa top-order.
Opener Paresh Patel departed for 27 before the Beheras added 67 off 31 overs to blunt Punjab’s attack.
Natraj was fluent in his 81 that came off 129 balls, while Niranjan consumed 133 balls for his 50.
Niranjan held fort after Nartaj’s exit and saw Orissa through to stumps for a creditable draw.
Punjab: 550 for seven declared in 166 overs
Orissa: 264 and 177 for three in 58 overs (Natraj Behera 81, Niranjan Behera 50 not out; Karan Goel 2/41).