Ayyappa leads Andhra to eight-wicket win

Madhya Pradesh was bowled out for 119 on Day Four, with fast bowler Bandaru Ayyappa finishing with five wickets. The required 65 was chased down with ease.

Ayyappa finished with seven wickets in the match.   -  Basheer (File Photo)


Andhra defeated Madhya Pradesh to top Group C by virtue of an eight-wicket victory shortly after lunch on the final day of their Ranji Trophy match at the Dr. P.V.G. Raju ACA Sports Complex on Saturday. After skittling out the tourist for 119, the home side erased the 64-run deficit without much ado.

Bandaru Ayyappa carried forward the good work of Thursday; he was a little less aggressive from the day before but destructive nonetheless.

MP resuming its innings on 67 for 5. Saransh Jain was first to depart, playing across but chopping onto his stumps off Bhargav Bhatt, about a quarter of an hour into Day Four. Devendra Bundela farmed the strike but the MP captain had his hands full with no let up in the home side’s concerted assault. When he brought his bat down to negotiate a rising delivery from Prithvi Raj, the ball grazed his glove and ended in the possession of stumper K. S. Bharat.

Ayyappa then had Mihir Hirwani lobbing a simple catch to Ashwin Hebbar in the region of gully. The same combination got rid of Ishwar Pandey next, the strapping speedster’s thick edge travelling like as fast as a bullet and on a low trajectory. Hebbar, however, was alert, halting the ball’s advance with both hands.


For some time thereafter, the tailenders gave the bowling the long handle, sending the ball twice over the ropes. Last to exit was Puneet Datey, attempting another big hit but hooking instead to long leg B. Sumanth off a Prithivi Raj snorter.

Man of the Match - Ayyappa

Andhra banked heavily on its pacemen. Ayyappa deployed the bouncer sparingly but with considerable shock value for the batsmen. He was duly adjudged the Man of the Match. Young Prithvi was overtly belligerent with his barrage of bouncers, and was at times a little too short, giving batsmen a little leeway to fend off the steeplers.

“What we came close to achieving in our three earlier matches, we could pull off against the group’s leading side,” said a visibly delighted M.S. Kumar, manager of the Andhra team. The host had taken a first innings lead against Tamil Nadu, Baroda and Odisha in its three previous outings, coming closest to victory against the last-named team at this very venue.

Brief Scores
  • Madhya Pradesh 321 and 119 (Bundela 38; Ayyappa 5 for 34, Prithvi 2 for 21) lost to Andhra 376 and 65 for 2 (Vihari 28; Datey 1 for 21) by eight wickets.

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