Ranji Trophy: Vihari triple leaves Andhra on top

Hanuma Vihari scored the first triple-century of his career as Andhra gathered 584 for 5 in the first innings of its Ranji Trophy Group C tie against Odisha.

Hanuma Vihari celebrates his triple-century on Wednesday.   -  Basheer

With an early wicket of the opposition to go with a first-innings score of 584 for 5, Andhra assumed a position of dominance against Odisha in the Ranji Trophy Group C contest at Dr. PVG Raju ACA Sports Complex here on Wednesday.

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Keen on clinching maximum points from the home encounter, Andhra batsmen scored the runs briskly and declared 40 minutes after tea when skipper Hanuma Vihari (302 runs, 456b, 682m, 29x4, 2x6) reached his painstaking triple hundred, the first of his career. En route, he also eclipsed his previous highest score of 263 made against Himachal Pradesh at Hyderabad playing for Hyderabad. The magical figure was achieved when Vihari hoisted a huge six over long-off off Dhiraj Singh.

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Andhra deployed spin in the very second over and left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt drew the first blood, trapping opener Natraj Behera in front.

Marathon

Overnight batsman Vihari showed immense amount of maturity and exhibited loads of patience and composure in his bid to fortify his team’s fortunes. His 11-hour long vigil is a testimony for his willingness to stay in the middle for a longer duration. The rival bowlers were found ill-equipped to halt his marauding run.

Andhra resumed the day at 278 for 2. Ricky Bhui (100 runs, 144b, 191m, 9x4, 5x6) joined his skipper after the fall of Prasanth and began playing to a plan. He adjusted his footwork adroitly to find the gaps on either side of the wicket and began accelerating. He was at his punishing best against off-spinner Subham Nayak; he smacked him for three towering sixes, and collected one each off Dhiraj Singh and Suryakant Pradhan.

Bhui reached his coveted three–figure mark, his second of the season, and in the next over he departed, playing across to Govind Poddar. D. B. Ravi Teja did not last long and Sumanth, who joined skipper Vihari, perished in his bid to make some quick runs.

Brief Scores
  • Andhra 584 for 5 dec. (Vihari 302, Prasanth 127, Bhui 100; Pradhan 2 for 106) leads Odisha 32 for 1 (Pattnaik 14*, Poddr 14*; Bhatt 1 for 12) by 552 runs.