Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Fazal century gives Vidarbha first innings lead

Faiz Fazal led Vidarbha from the front with an unbeaten century to help his team achieve its first objective of taking the first innings lead against Hyderabad on day two.

Faiz Fazal after getting to his century against Hyderabad.   -  V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM

Faiz Fazal led Vidarbha from the front with a superbly-paced, unbeaten century (126, 209b, 15x4, 3x6) to help his team achieve its first objective of taking the first innings lead against Hyderabad on the second day of Ranji Trophy Elite Group match at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Thursday.

In reply to Hyderabad's first innings score of 272, Vidarbha finished the day at 242 for four, more importantly captain Fazal still at the crease with his second century of the season.

Earlier, the home team, resuming at the overnight score of 239 for seven, could score only 33 runs more and 22 of them came off Mohd Siraj's bat.

Clearly in the morning, the focus was on the young debutant Prateek Reddy (unbeaten on 76 overnight) but he missed out on a wonderful opportunity of scoring a century when he edged (on 83) a perfect length ball from pacer Aditya Thakare to wicketkeeper.

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And, when Vidarbha batted, the ever-dependable pacer Ravi Kiran struck two early blows - trapping opener Akshay Kolhar lbw and got rid off Aniruddha Choudhary caught behind to leave the team in a spot of bother at 24 for two in the eighth over.

However, that joy was short-lived for Hyderabad as the man in form, Ganish Satish (65, 153b, 9x4 1x6) joined his skipper and the two put up 124 runs for the third wicket which effectively pushed the home team on to the backfoot.

In the morning session, Fazal was at his fluent best, essaying some flowing drives of both pace and spin on either side of the wicket but after the lunch break, he was more cautious and saw his partner do most of the scoring.

That was the phase when Ravi Kiran once again lacked support from the other end and even Siraj, Ravi Teja and Chama Milind, who on few occasions tested Satish by angling the ball away from the batsman, but failed to get a breakthrough.

Consequently, Vidarbha wriggled out of the crisis and eventually managed to stay on top even as another debutant and young left-arm spinner Aniketh Reddy had the satisfaction of seeing the back of the well-set Satish after tea break - stumped smartly by Sumanth.

But, with Fazal staying put at one end, Hyderabad’s misery only piled up in the battle for survival.

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