After three successive failures with the bat, the only significant contribution which Andhra opener C.R. Gnaneshwar made was to take a sharp catch in the slips to dismiss Services wicketkeeper Devender Lohchab in the first innings.
With his place under threat, Gnaneshwar scored a chanceless century (125) on the final day as the Ranji Trophy Group E match between Andhra and Services at the KCA-St.Xavier's College ground ended in a draw.
Andhra in the second innings scored 220 for four when the captains decided to call off play after tea. Andhra took three points for the first innings lead while Services got one. The result has effectively ended Andhra's chances of qualification.
However, the day belonged to Gnaneshwar whose fluent knock made his earlier failures look like an aberration. While other batters struggled with their timing, Gnaneshwar stroked the ball beautifully to all parts of the field and scored at a fair clip.
In the morning, Gnaneshwar quickly got into his groove and punished the loose offerings from Services medium pacers. Gnaneshwar scored the majority of the runs in the opening wicket stand of 72 with U.M.S. Girinath (20) who was trapped in front by Poonam Poonia.
Gnaneshwar also looked comfortable against the spinners who unlike in the first innings didn't get the same help from the pitch which mostly played true.
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The debutant Shaikh Rasheed (43) played second fiddle in the 124-run second wicket stand as Gnaneshwar steadily moved to his hundred. It wasn't a pretty innings from Rasheed nevertheless he gave good support to Gnaneshwar.
Pulkit Narang got the breakthrough when Rashed's defensive prod ended in the hands of a diving Rahul Singh at first slip. Pulkit finally ended Gnaneshwar's innings when he induced an edge which was snapped by a juggling Lohchab.
The tentative Karan Shinde was caught and bowled by Arjun Sharma a few minutes before tea and with no hope of a result the captains shook hands and agreed for a draw. Andhra captain Ricky Bhui in his 50th Ranji Trophy match was chosen as the player of the match for his first innings hundred.
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