Debutant Prateek Reddy displayed discipline in the company of a defiant Mehdi Hasan to string together an unbeaten 88-run partnership for the eighth wicket, which helped Hyderabad score 239 for seven against Vidarbha at close of day one's play of a Ranji Trophy Elite Group match at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Wednesday.
Put in to bat, it was another dismal performance at the top with seasoned openers P. Akshath Reddy and captain Tanmay Agarwal falling to the teasing off-stump line bowling of the pace trio of Rajneesh Gurbani and Yash Thakur.
Surprisingly, when the two left-handers Buddhi Rahul, playing his second Ranji game, and all-rounder T. Ravi Teja, who was promoted up the order, were batting during their 80-run stand for the third wicket, there were serious doubts whether Vidarbha’s gamble was worth taking.
There was nothing in the pitch which could suggest anything unplayable and it became lot more easier as the day progressed.
But, to the credit of Vidarbha bowlers, they came back strongly to break the third wicket partnership between Rahul (52, 82b, 9x4) and Ravi Teja (44, 62b, 5x4, 2x6).
Soon enough, Gurbani produced a beauty to clean up the in-form Kolla Sumanth as the ball swung late to crash the furniture. At the other end, Thakur left Chama Milind clueless as he stretched forward only to see his middle-stump knocked back.
Then, it looked it would be another familiar script in batting before southpaw Prateek was joined by another left-hander Mehdi Hassan at 151 for seven. The two batted sensibly to keep the Vidarbha bowlers at bay for the rest of the day.
Though slow to start with, Prateek showed admirable temperament and stroke selection. He clearly reposed the faith of the selectors after his impressive run in the Col.C.K. Nayudu Trophy tournament with an innings of character and composure under pressure.
A knock which was even applauded by former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin (now HCA president also) among others.
Importantly for Hyderabad, Prateek and Mehdi stayed there till the end of day’s play raising hopes of a much bigger total which looked doubtful at one stage.
For Vidarbha, Thakur and Gurbani were the main wicket-takers, bowling their heart out in batting friendly conditions.
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