Ranji Trophy: Hyderabad forces a draw against Kerala

Balachander Anirudh responded in style to the growing criticism with his maiden Ranji century in his 15th match to help Hyderabad draw the match against Kerala in the Ranji Trophy Group C at the KIIT Stadium here on Sunday.

Anirudh reached his century in style with a six and a four off Iqbal Abdulla and indulge in justifiable animated celebrations.   -  V.V. Subrahmanyam

Under fire for frequently throwing away his wicket, Balachander Anirudh responded in style to the growing criticism with his maiden Ranji century in his 15th match to help Hyderabad force a draw against Kerala in the Ranji Trophy Group C at the KIIT Stadium here on Sunday.

Earlier, Hyderabad, resuming its first innings at 231 for seven, folded up for 281 after to a breezy half-century by Mehdi Hasan (58, 114b, 10 x 4) which in a way helped his team occupy the crease and consume valuable time.

>Scorecard:

Forced to follow-on, Hyderabad hopes of a better start from the openers were dashed when southpaw Tanmay Agarwal’s poor run continued in his sixth innings when he failed to check his drive and ended up giving a return catch to off-spinner Jalaj Saxena in the sixth over of the innings.

Soon, a well-set Akshath Reddy offered a casual defensive jab without moving his feet to be bowled by left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla.

At 67 for two in 19th over, Kerala would have scented a probable outright win but 22-year-old Anirudh (120 not out, 192b, 14 x 4, 2 x 6) and captain Subramaniam Anirudh (39, 107b, 4 x 4) put on a match-saving, 122-run stand which steered Hyderabad to safety.

Anirudh, who initially looked more comfortable against pacers, opened up against the spinners too with ease. Once he hit left-armer K. Monish for three fours in one over, he never really looked back.

Anirudh clearly thrived in the company of his captain during a stand which put the nature of the pitch in proper perspective as even on the fourth day all that was needed was disciplined approach to batting and this was amply demonstrated by both Anirudh and Badrinath.

Anirudh reached his century in style with a six and a four off Iqbal Abdulla and indulge in justifiable animated celebrations for he knew the importance of this knock.

Kerala picked three points from this match to have six from three matches and Hyderabad one point here to have seven from same number of games.

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