Lucknow: Captain Mohammad Kaif (51) and Eklavya Dwivedi (83) scored painstaking half centuries as hosts Uttar Pradesh crawled to 174 for four at stumps, on the first day of their Ranji Trophy Group B Super League match against Orissa, at the Dr Akhilesh Dasgupta Stadium here.
Skipper Kaif called the coin correctly and opted to bat but his side’s opening batsman Shivakant Shukla (1) fell early in the fifth over off former India pacer Debasis Mohanty’s bowling. Shivakant’s dismissal immediately put UP on the backfoot.
The other opener Tanmay Srivastava fell midway into the morning session for 13 from 57 balls and the UP batsmen went into a shell with the scoreboard reading 28 for two.
Kaif and the lanky Dwivedi then put on 113 runs for the third wicket partnership to fish UP out of trouble but in the process consumed 328 deliveries(54.4 overs) and took more than three and half hours to score the runs.
They denied Orissa bowlers any success in the whole of post-lunch session although they scored at a slow pace.
Kaif faced 160 balls for his 51 which he made with the help of six boundaries while Dwivedi needed 250 balls for his 83, an innings that was studded with nine boundaries.
At stumps, Parvinder Singh on 17 was at the crease along with wicketkeeper-batsman Amir Khan, who is yet to open his account.
For the entire 90 overs, UP’s average was an unimpressive 1.93.
For Orissa, Alok Sahoo claimed two for 40 while Debasis Mohanty and Biplab Samantray took a wicket apiece.