Ranji Trophy: Ayyappa, Prithvi Raj wreck Uttarakhand

B. Ayyappa and Prithvi Raj triggered a batting collapse in the post-tea session as Uttarakhand slumped from 161 for five to be all out for 194.

B. Ayyappa grabbed four wickets for 35.   -  Special Arrangement

Andhra medium-pacers B. Ayyappa (four for 35) and Prithvi Raj (three for 27) scythed through the Uttarakhand batting line-up to put their side in command at the end of the first day’s play in the Ranji Trophy Group E match at the KCA-St. Xavier’s College ground on Thursday.

The duo triggered a batting collapse in the post-tea session as Uttarakhand slumped from 161 for five to be all out for 194. In reply, Andhra was 42 for one at stumps with opener C.R. Gnaneshwar unbeaten on 25 and Shaikh Rasheed batting on 10.

Needless run out

It was the needless run out of Saurabh Rawat after tea which started the slide. The batter pushed the ball to mid-on and ran but couldn’t beat S. Ashish’s direct throw.

Ayyappa and Prithvi Raj then didn’t allow any fight back from the Jharkhand lower order and quickly wrapped up the innings.

Ayyappa was deceptively quick and used the short ball judiciously. He troubled all the Uttarakhand batters with his out-swingers. His fiery spell under favourable conditions in the morning session unsettled the Uttarakhand openers.

Ayyappa drew first blood when he had Uttarakhand captain Jay Bista (11) edging a catch to Ricky Bhui at first slip. Prithvi Raj joined the act, forcing Tanush Gusain (18) to edge a catch to Stephen in the slips.

However, Kunal Chandela, who was dropped by left-arm spinner Ashish off his own bowling when on 11, attacked the Andhra spinners to add 46 runs quickly for the third wicket with Kamal Singh (42).

Ashish was treated with disdain by Kunal which forced Andhra skipper Bhui to turn back to his seamers.

Ayyappa came back for his second spell and bowled a perfect out-swinger to induce the edge from Kamal to wicketkeeper U.MS. Girinath.

Kunal continued to play his stokes and reached his half-century but his aggressive intent against off-spinner Naren Reddy brought his downfall. He was bowled trying to play a forcing shot.

Kunal’s dismissal ended Uttarakhand’s brief period of dominance and Rawat’s run-out soon after fast tracked the capitulation.

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