Ricky Bhui stifled a spirited Subodh Bhati on an intense opening day of a Ranji Trophy league match between Andhra and Delhi at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Thursday. Bhui's unbeaten 150 carried Andhra to 266 for seven even as Bhati, returning for a second spell, ended the day at five for 35 to keep Delhi in the fray.
Bhati's performance came on a pitch that surprised both the camps. “We expected a turner,” confessed Bhui. For Bhati, the surface, in any case, was not going to matter. “I don't really worry about the pitch or the conditions because I concentrate on landing the ball in uncomfortable spots for the batsmen,” said Bhati.
Andhra, put in, was rocked early when Bhati packed off D. B. Prasanth, K. S. Bharat and N. Jyothi Saikrishna. Bhui was to refer to some indiscreet strokes from his colleagues even as he described his knock as “natural style.”
“Things opened up as I progressed but we all have to work hard to get runs. It can get frustrating sometimes but things can be better if we learn to take responsibilities. I looked to attack initial before settling down,” said Bhui.
Bhui grew in confidence in the middle after arriving at the crease in the third over. At 48 for four and 122 for five, Andhra was staring at conceding the advantage in the second session of the contest itself before Bhui and P. Girinath Reddy salvaged the situation with a 74-run stand for the fifth wicket.
“I just did my work, I wanted to prove a point because I was wondering why I had been excluded from the first three matches. I must say Bhui batted very well even though we also bowled well collectively,” noted Bhati.
Bhui took 225 balls with 19 fours and a six and hung in to extend his stay to the second day. Karn Sharma earned a pat from Bhui for his 86-ball knock of 31.
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