Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Disciplined bowling attack helps Hyderabad stay on top

Earlier, resuming at the overnight score of 193 for eight, Hyderabad was bowled out for 228 with fast bowler Sandeep Warrier finishing off with a five-wicket haul.

Hyderabad wicketkeeper-batsman K. Sumanth who scored his maiden Ranji Trophy century in the match against Kerala in Hyderabad on Sunday.

Hyderabad wicketkeeper-batsman K. Sumanth who scored his maiden Ranji Trophy century in the match against Kerala in Hyderabad on Sunday.   -  V. V. Subrahmanyam

A disciplined Hyderabad bowling attack helped the team stay on top when it had Kerala in trouble at 204 for seven, after conceding a first innings lead of 64 runs, on the third day of a four-day Ranji Trophy Elite Group match at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, on Sunday.

Earlier, resuming at the overnight score of 193 for eight, Hyderabad was bowled out for 228, with fast bowler Sandeep Warrier finishing off with a five-wicket haul. For the home team, K. Sumanth (111 not out, 185b, 14x4) became the first wicketkeeper to score a century in Ranji Trophy after Ibrahim Khaleel's against Jharkhand in 2010.

Sumanth’s brilliant knock in his 33rd appearance, also impressed the BCCI senior selection panel chairman MSK Prasad, who has been watching the match from day one.

In the second innings, the much-needed improved display from Kerala was missing. Opener P. Rahul was cleaned up by pacer Mohammed Siraj in the third over of the innings for a second successive duck. Later, all-rounder T. Ravi Teja seemed a bit lucky to get a caught behind decision to see the back of opener Jalaj Saxena.

As it happened

The focus was on Robin Uthappa again, but he disappointed as well, never looking convincing as the left-arm spinner Mehdi Hassan got the better of him.

Then, it was the turn of off-spinner Saaketh Sai Ram to dismiss the well-set Rohan Prem (44) and soon Kerala captain Sachin Baby departed too, when Siraj forced him to play a tentative, defensive push to wicketkeeper J. Mallikarjun (donning the role for Sumanth who was down with cramps).

At 122 for five, it looked Hyderabad would finish off the job this evening itself but a spirited 53-run stand for the sixth wicket between a confident looking Vishnu Vinod (44, 83b, 6x4) and the aggressive Salman Nizar (30, 85b, 2x4,1x6) gave some hopes of a dramatic recovery.

But, in the final session, Mehdi struck again as Vinod missed a sweep stroke to get trapped plumb in front. Later, Nizar was bowled by Saaketh, as he tried to steer a delivery very close to the body.

With 140 runs ahead and just three wickets in hand, Kerala has a tough task on Monday.

Brief Scores

Kerala 204/7 in 78 overs (Rohan Prem 44, Vishnu Vinod 44, Sairam 13-1-35-2) and 164 vs Hyderabad 228 all out in 76.5 overs (K. Sumanth 111 n.o., T. Ravi Teja 32, Warrier 21.5-5-68-5)

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