Chahal, Pahal push Hyderabad towards defeat

Struggling against pace and spin alike, Hyderabad played into the hands of Haryana and stared at defeat at the end of the penultimate day of the four-day Ranji Trophy league match here on Saturday.

Haryana bowler Sanjay Pahal, who struck two vital blows to Hyderabad, celebrates.   -  Special arrangement

Struggling against pace and spin alike, Hyderabad played into the hands of Haryana and stared at defeat at the end of the penultimate day of the four-day Ranji Trophy league match here on Saturday.

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Trailing by 140 runs, Hyderabad was 102 for five in the second innings with its leading batsmen, including skipper S. Badrinath, back in the dressing room. Medium pacer Sanjay Pahal and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal struck twice after captain Mohit Sharma provided an early breakthrough.

On Sunday, Hyderabad needs another 38 runs to make Haryana bat again. Going by the lack of discipline in Hyderabad’s innings, Haryana is expected to score its first victory of the season.

Earlier, Haryana resumed its first innings at 236 for four and folded at 341, with left-arm spinner Mehdi Hasan bagging a career-best six for 93. Chaitanya Bishnoi scored 73, dotted with 12 boundaries. His run-out triggered off a collapse with the remaining five wickets adding only 53 runs.

The fact that Hyderabad had not learnt from the first innings debacle was underlined by the manner in which opener Tanmay Agarwal tossed away his wicket by pulling into the waiting hands of long-leg off Mohit.

Akshath Reddy, the other opener, took 37 deliveries to open his account, and had an ugly spat with Mohit. Match referee Rajiv Seth took note of the incident and was waiting for the umpires to report the matter before acting on the incident.

After Reddy and a more assured B. Anirudh added 54 runs for the second wicket, disaster struck Hyderabad. From 67 for one, Hyderabad was 68 for four with Anirudh, Badrinath and Reddy falling in that order.

Chahal sent back Anirudh before Pahal got the other two big wickets. Of the lot, Badrinath last just five deliveries before offering a regulation catch to wicketkeeper Nitin Saini.

B. Sandeep and K. Sumanth played for 24.4 overs to frustrate Haryana and looked like taking Hyderabad to stumps without further damage. But that was not to be.

Chahal managed to fox Sandeep and provided Haryana an additional reason to end the day on a happy note. With the pitch increasingly assisting spin, Chahal is set to trouble Hyderabad’s lower-order on Sunday.