Left arm spinner S.Ashish's perseverance paid off as his fine spell after tea triggered a batting collapse from Services and enabled Andhra to snatch the all-important first innings lead in the Ranji Trophy Group E match at the KCA-St.Xavier's College ground here on Saturday.
After playing the support cast to medium pacers in the morning session, Ashish (4/91) took three wickets in the post tea session to dismiss Services for 343 and give his side a lead of 46 runs.
Ashish and fellow spinner Y.Sandeep (2/54) couldn't extract the same amount of bounce which Services' spinner Pulkit Narang managed to get from the surface.
Nevertheless, both the Andhra spinners pegged away and were rewarded for their discipline when they forced errors from the batters. The Services batters also contributed to their downfall through poor judgement and rash strokes.
In the last over before lunch opener Ravi Chauhan, who had batted solidly for 87 and had added 73 runs for the fourth wicket with his skipper Rajat Paliwal, shouldered arms to an innocuous delivery from off spinner Sandeep and was bowled.
Paliwal, after adding 56 runs for the fifth wicket with Devender Lohchab, had to leave the field to attend to an injury. His replacement Arjun Sharma (1) didn't last long as he was castled by Ashish and it started the slide.
After a breezy knock of 36, wicket-keeper Devender Lohchab (36) then slashed at a wide delivery from Sasikanth and was caught in the slips.
Poonam Poonia (10) threw his wicket away with an ill-advised slog off Ashish. Pulkit Narang was trapped in front by Ashish as Services slipped from 252 for four to 283 for eight.
Paliwal came back and watched as Diwesh Pathania (38) counter attacked with a few big hits off the spinners to add 58 runs for the ninth wicket.
Pathania's attempt to clear the infield resulted in a tame catch to Ricky Bhui at mid on. Ashish then induced an edge from Paliwal (96) to end the Services innings.
Andhra openers C.R. Gnaneshwar (7 batting) and U.M.S. Girinath (2 batting) survived testing spell to extend the lead to 55 runs.
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