Andhra, despite conceding a first innings lead of 62 runs, fought back well on the second day of the four-day Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match at the Dr. P.V.G. Raju ACA Sports Complex here on Wednesday. Andhra scored 230 for three against Hyderabad thanks to an unbroken 116-run stand for the fourth wicket between Ricky Bhui and K.S. Bharat.
Earlier, resuming at the overnight score of 79 for three, Hyderabad scored 197 in reply to Andhra’s first innings score of 135.
After a familiar dismal show from the regular batters, it was left to a breezy knock by southpaw M. Shashank (47, 55b, 4x4, 1x6) to lend some respectability to the total after Hyderabad was struggling at 131 for eight at one stage.
For Andhra, pacers K.V. Sasikanth (three for 40), K. Sudharsan (two for 47) and K. Nithish Kumar Reddy (four for 64) were the main wicket-takers ensuring that Hyderabad didn’t run away with a huge lead.
In the second innings, Andhra suffered an early blow in the sixth over when first-innings top-scorer and opener Abhishek Reddy was trapped lbw by pacer C.T.L. Rakshann.
Then a 72-run stand between a free-stroking C.R. Gnaneshwar (72, 96b, 15x4) and captain Hanuma Vihari (33, 73b, 4x4, 1x6) saw the team inch towards a better position before the latter was also dismissed by Rakshann in the 30th over. In the space of three overs, the well-set
Gnaneshwar was cleaned up by Rakshann to make it 114 for three. Then, two of the experienced batters Ricky Bhui (43 batting, 51b, 4x4, 1x6) and K.S. Bharat (70 batting, 52b, 12x4, 2x6) put on the crucial partnership which ensured that Andhra stayed in the contest with a lead of 168 runs and seven wickets in hand as the other Hyderabad bowlers failed to rise to the occasion.
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