Sambalpur: Odisha were in a strong position to take a first-innings lead on the back of solid top-order batting display on the second day of their Ranji Trophy group league match against Maharashtra here on Sunday.
Captain and opening batsman Natraj Behera and Niranjan Behera hit a half century each as Odisha reached 237 for three at stumps on second day at Veer Surendra Sai Stadium.
Niranjan was batting on a slow 59 from 174 balls with the help of five fours while Biplab Samantray was giving him company on 26 from 44 balls with the help of six boundaries.
Odisha now trail by 78 runs with seven first innings wickets intact in the Group B match.
For Maharashtra, Shrikant Mundhe grabbed two wickets for 66 runs while Akshay Darekar took the other wicket.
Earlier, Maharashtra added 51 runs today to their overnight 264 for seven as they were all out for 315 in 101.5 overs.
Shrikant Mundhe added 20 more runs today to remain not out on 39 while the other overnight batsman Akshay Darekar scored 23 more to contribute 27 to his team`s total.
For Odisha, Basant Mohanty returned with first innings figures of three for 40 while Alok Sahoo got two wickets.
Maharashtra 1st innings: 315 all out in 101.5 overs (Ankit Bawne 51, Shrikant Mundhe not out 39; Basant Mohanty 3/40)
Odisha 1st innings: 237 for three in 67 overs (Natraj Behera 60, Niranjan Behera 59 batting; Shrikant Mundhe 2/66).