Mumbai: Forced to follow on, Odisha fought hard to earn a draw against Mumbai as Natraj Behera (in pic) scored his second century of the match on the fourth and final day of their Group A Ranji Trophy tie in Mumbai on Tuesday.
The visitors, who resumed on 115 for two in their second innings, 130 runs behind Mumbai's first innings total of 501, batted sensibly to deny the hosts an outright win.
At stumps on day four, Odisha were 356 for five with Natraj and Sujit Lenka (0 not out) on the crease.
Natraj, who hit 130 in the first innings, once again showed good application as he rescued his team by scoring an unbeaten 127 off 218 deliveries, laced with 17 fours and three sixes.
Starting the day on 20, Natraj survived a drop catch when he was on 61 by Wasim Jaffer off Pravin Tambe bowling. He used it to good effect and helped his team remain unbeaten at the close of play.
Natraj also put on a solid 147-run stand with Niranjan Behera for the third wicket before the latter was dismissed in the fifth over after lunch.
Niranjan, who too got a reprieve when he was on 28, made a patient 206-ball 59. His knock comprised of nine boundaries, including the one he struck to bring up his half century.
Still nine runs short of equalising Mumbai's total when Niranjan departed, Natraj and captain Biplab Samantray shared a 64-run partnership to take the total to 300.
Samantray, who struck two fours and a six during his 68-ball 27, got out with the visitors on 300 for four.
Abhilash Mallick played a cameo with a quickfire 40, which included seven fours and a six.
From 352 for five, Natraj and wicketkeeper-batsman Lenka kept the rival bowlers at bay for a couple of overs till play was called off after the mandatory overs.
The defending champions Mumbai, who were seeking their fourth outright victory, were hurt by their young side's inept bowling that was complimented by poor fielding.
Tambe, who had picked up two wickets yesterday, was unlucky today after two catches were dropped off his bowling. He finished with figures of 33-8-127-2. Javed Khan, Vishal Dabholkar and Siddhesh Lad took wicket a piece.
Mumbai secured three points from this match for a total of 23 points from six games, but have slipped a place from top of the table.
Odisha, meanwhile, have gained a solitary point for their effort.
Mumbai: 501 for nine decl (Wasim Jaffer 143, Hiken Shah 170; Basant Mohanty 3/73, Dhiraj Singh 3/117).
Odisha: 256 (Natraj Behera 130, Biplab Samatray 39; Javed Khan 4/53, Shardul Thakur 3/54) & 356 for 5 (Natraj Behera 127 not out, Niranjan Behera 59; Pravin Tambe 2/127).