Kolkata: Orissa moved into the knock-out stage of Vijay Hazare Trophy finishing runners-up in the East Zone group league by defeating Assam by 29 runs at Eden Gardens on Monday.
Orissa scored 245 for seven wickets in their stipulated 50 overs and bowled out Assam for 216.
Orissa middle order Rashmi Ranjan Das was the architect of the victory as he scored a brilliant unbeaten 96 off 98 balls and delighted the crowd hitting 12 fours and a six.
Opener Nataraj Behera and Alok Sahoo made 49 and 37 runs respectively to add substance to their innings.
In reply, Deepak Sharma waged a lone battle to make a valiant 88 runs, including eight boundaries and a six, off 87 deliveries which, however, went in vain as no other Assam batsman could provide him the required support.
Orissa’s Preetamjit Das emerged the best bowler of the match as he earned four Assam scalps for 43 runs off 8.4 overs.
Orissa collected 14 points and will now play the next stage of the tournament along with champions Bengal, who earlier assured their berth in the final round garnering 18 points and maintaining a clean slate in the zonal meet.
In the knock-out stage, to be held in Tripura, Bengal, which got a bye in the first round being the runners-up in last year’s championship, will meet the winners of the tie between champions of North Zone and runners-up from the Central Zone in the pre-quarterfinal.
Orissa will meet champions of South Zone in the first round of the knock-out stage.