Ranji Trophy: Table topper Andhra denies Mumbai outright win

Mumbai set Andhra Pradesh a daunting target of 397 on the last day of its Ranji Trophy match after the visitor had claimed a vital first innings lead. The host took a cautious approach for a draw.

Mumbai’s Shardul Thakur claimed two wickets during the final day’s play against Andhra Pradesh on Monday, (file picture)   -  Biswaranjan Rout

 

Mumbai made a concerted bid for victory over Andhra in their drawn Ranji Trophy group C cricket match at the C.S.R. Sarma College ground but had to be content with three points from their first innings lead. The host held on grimly to close at 219 for five when the last of the mandatory overs were completed.

Scorecard

A little past an hour into the final day, Mumbai declared at 279 for six, setting the host a target of 397. Aditya Tare’s lean patch continued, caught on the wrong foot by P. Vijay Kumar.

At the other end, Shreyas Iyer was stroking fluently, sending the ball to all parts of the ground. One short of 90, he hoisted Vijay in a bid for another big one. The blow fell short though and was held by Sasikanth at deep mid wicket.

Day Three report:  Thakur, Kulkarni run through Andhra

The seventh wicket pair of Abhishek Nayar (38 not out) and Dhawal Kulkarni (33 not out) then put together a quickfire 68 before the declaration was effected.

Andhra chose caution over adventure, its openers showing no urgency in the quest to overhaul a challenging total. Lessons from the first innings’ failure collectively as a batting unit looked fresh in memory. Until D.B. Prasanth’s half-hearted punch resulted in a caught and bowled dismissal for Shardul Thakur.

G. Hanuma Vihari was rapped on the pad by the same bowler, the ball keeping low and eluding the tall Andhra skipper’s bat. K.S. Bharat held fort at one end, hooking Minad Manjrekar for a six. A pull off the same bowler was spilt at long leg when the wicket-keeper batsman was on 46.

Soon after, a paddle sweep to fine leg brought up Bharat’s 50. In the first over after tea, Andhra’s wiry vice-captain slammed a boundary and a six towards and over mid-wicket off Karsh Kothari and off successive deliveries. The debutant left-arm spinner exacted revenge soon after, engineering an edge to silly point Prithvi Shaw.

In a stay spanning 162 balls, Bharat had cracked seven boundaries and two big ones. Kothari persisted with a close catching cordon around the bat and B. Sumanth fell prey, caught again by Shaw in the third mandatory over. The same combination accounted for Bhui, this time Shaw diving to his right to hold the chance.