Ranji Trophy: Sinha, Rajjakuddin lead Assam fightback

Amit Sinha and Rajjakuddin Ahmed put on 120 runs for the seventh wicket to have Assam leading by 110 by the end of the third day’s play against Hyderabad in Guwahati.

Assam’s Rajjakuddin Ahmed celebrates his half-century in Guwahati on Sunday.   -  PTI

Assam has staged a remarkable fightback on the penultimate day of its Ranji Trophy Group A tie at the Barsapara Stadium here on Sunday. A brilliant 120-run stand for the seventh wicket between Amit Sinha (96 batting, 188b, 11x4) and Rajjakuddin Ahmed (75, 109b, 9x4, 3x6) erased Hyderabad’s hopes of forcing an innings win.

Resuming its innings in the morning on 36 for two, Assam faced a serious threat of losing the match on Sunday itself as it was still 154 runs in arrears. But it eventually finished the day at a very creditable 300 for seven.

Scorecard

A disciplined Sinha and an aggressive Rajjakuddin joined hands to resurrect Assam’s innings from a precarious position - 131 for six in 55.5 overs. They helped wiped off the deficit.

Hyderabad’s bowlers lacked the intensity and the fire to trouble the lower-order batsmen after removing the top five on Sunday. Also, perhaps, the think-tank erred in giving a bowl to the spinners in the post-lunch session as their absence made things comparatively easier for the settled batsmen - Sinha and Rajjakuddin.

Day Two report: Mudassar leaves Assam facing heavy defeat

Hyderabad had a chance of splitting the dup early. Mehdi Hasan failed to latch on to a difficult catching chance to dismiss Rajjakuddin when he was on 25. Hasan ran back near third man in vain when Rajjakuddin slashed Ravi Kiran. The team score was then only 151 for six.

What was commendable was the way Amit and Rajjakuddin combined well. They batted with greater freedom to push Hyderabad into some sort of despondency in the final session.

Hyderabad out of reckoning

Ironically, with Delhi registering an outright win against Maharashtra on Sunday in Delhi, Hyderabad’s chances of qualifying for the knock-out phase has effectively vanished.

Read: Thakur, Kulkarni run through Andhra

Delhi now has 24 points to top the table and it takes on Hyderabad in the last game in Hyderabad from November 25. Hyderabad now has nine points and even if it picks seven points against Assam here (achieving whatever target the home team sets without losing a wicket on Monday) and then pulls off an improbable win over Delhi to pick another seven points, it will only end up with 23 points.

Karnataka is placed comfortably in the second place in the points table. It has 23 points with the match still on against Uttar Pradesh. It has one more match to go.