Ranji Trophy: Prasanth, Vihari torment Odisha attack

Odisha was made to toil on the field as Andhra’s Hanuma Vihari and Prasanth Kumar scored centuries on Day One of the Ranji Trophy Group C contest.

Hanuma Vihari hit 17 fours and a six in his unbeaten knock.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan (File Photo)

 

Andhra finished Day One of its Ranji Trophy Group C contest at Dr. PVG Raju ACA sports complex here on a resounding note, piling up 278 for two in 89.5 overs against Odisha.

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After a hard day’s toil, Odisha was offered respite when medium pacer Basant Mohanty, bowling the last over the day with the second new ball, rattled the stumps of Prasanth Kumar (127, 270b, 317m, 17x4, 2x6), thus ending his five-hour long vigil.

One-way traffic

The day belonged to Prasanth and skipper Hanuma Vihari (143 batting, 246b, 354m, 17x4, 1x6), who toyed with the toothless Odisha attack which lacked penetration and guile. With the wicket offering no help, Odisha’s bowlers failed to add variety to their game plan and allowed the batsmen to settle down to torment them.

Brief Scores

 

Andhra 278 for 2 (Vihari 143*, Prasanth 127; Mohanty 1 for 31, Pradhan 1 for 43) vs Odisha

    Left-arm spinner Dhiraj, who took five wickets against Tripura, bore the brunt of the onslaught as Prasanth and Vihari opened their shoulders to unleash a flurry of strokes - both of the along-the-ground and aerial varieties. Poor fielding aggravated the miseries of the visitors as some half-chances went begging. Wicket-keeper Saurabh Rawat had made a half-hearted dive for a possible catch to dismiss Prasanth; the bowler to suffer was medium-pacer Suryakant Pradhan.

    Digging in

    Earlier, Andhra won the toss and elected to bat on a strip which hardly had any grass. It suffered an early setback when K. S. Bharat was dismissed in the sixth over. He was shaping for a flick off medium-pacer Pradhan and the ball moved the other way to knock his off-stump. Skipper Vihari and Prasanth dug themselves in brilliantly by tackling both medium-pacers and spinners with aplomb.

    Prasanth and Vihari notched up their centuries in a contrasting manner. While Vihari’s second hundred of the season was reached via a sedate single, Prasanth reached his first century of the season via a rasping sweep shot.

    Andhra made two changes to the team played earlier against Baroda, bringing in K. V. Sasikanth and Shoaib Mohammad Khan in place of P. Vijaya Kumar and I. Karthik Raman.