Ranji Trophy: Hyderabad and Andhra play out a draw

Hyderabad finished the league with 17 points while Andhra has 11 and a match to go against Madhya Pradesh in Indore.

Hyderabad captain Akshath Reddy looks back as Andhra's Ricky Bhui takes the catch in the slips to get him dismissed.   -  V.V. SUBRAHMANYAM

Hyderabad managed to salvage a draw against Andhra on the final day of the Ranji Trophy Group B match at the Dr. PVG Raju ACA Sports Complex here on Wednesday.

Resuming at the overnight score of 33 for no loss after conceding a massive 231-run lead in the first innings, Hyderabad lost opener Tanmay Agarwal in the 10th over of the morning when he was bowled by Andhra captain and pacer Ayyappa Bandaru by one which kept low. Later, debutant and southpaw Tilak Varma was bowled by off-spinner Shoaib Mohammad Khan - trying to cut a ball which was too close to his body.

Then, it was left to the most experienced duo of captain Akshath Reddy and B. Sandeep to do yet another rescue act and they batted with lot of authority and freedom putting on a crucial 84-run stand for the third wicket.

Key highlights: Round 8, Day 4

Strangely, Andhra pacers preferred short-pitched bowling after the lunch break and wasted about 10 overs against the duo, which comfortably swayed away from the firing line, instead of making them play every ball.

Later, a well-set Akshath swept Shoaib only to top-edge and see slip fielder Ricky Bhui take a simple catch to his left but not before the batsman completed 740 runs this season with two centuries and three fifties.

Soon, Sandeep opened up with some flowing drives but he too perished when looking good, failing to check an intended back-drive and ended up in giving a simple, return catch to the pacer Girinath Reddy.

Andhra’s hopes of a possible win were ignited when all-rounder T. Ravi Teja was caught behind by wicket-keeper Surya Bharat off left-arm pacer Prithvi Raj to reduce Hyderabad to 210 for five in 69.5 overs.

But, Himalay Agarwal scored his fifth half-century of the season to ensure that there were no twists to the script as the match ended in a draw.

Hyderabad finished the league with 17 points while Andhra has 11 and a match to go against Madhya Pradesh in Indore.

At Vizianagaram:

Hyderabad 271 & 251 for five in 85 overs (Akshath Reddy 65, B. Sandeep 45, Himalay Agarwal 60 n.o.) drew with Andhra 502 for seven decl. Andhra 3 (11), Hyderabad 1 (17).