Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Tanmay, Mehdi lead Hyderabad's fightback

Tanmay Agarwal scored a century and Mehdi Hasan, coming in at No. 8 contributed a fighting unbeaten 71, as Hyderabad lifted itself from 97 for six to 298 on Friday.

Delhi's Ishant Sharma appeals for a wicket on the third day of Round 3 of the side's Ranji Trophy fixture against Hyderabad.

Delhi's Ishant Sharma appeals for a wicket on the third day of Round 3 of the side's Ranji Trophy fixture against Hyderabad.   -  PTI

Skipper Tanmay Agarwal and Mehdi Hasan led Hyderabad’s pride-restoring fightback to make Delhi bat again but the result of the Ranji Trophy match remains tilted in favour of the host.

Agarwal scored a century and Mehdi, coming in at No. 8 contributed a fighting unbeaten 71, as Hyderabad lifted itself from 97 for six to 298 on Friday. This left Delhi a target of 84 for its first win of the season. When bad light stopped play 76 minutes before scheduled close, Delhi was 24 for no loss and stayed in the hunt for a bonus seventh point.

The story of the third day was how Hyderabad’s last four wickets added 201 runs and ensured the team lived to fight another day.

Delhi, ahead by 215 runs on the first innings, was eyeing an innings victory after reducing Hyderabad to 97 for six. But what followed was Hyderabad’s finest phase in the match.

Agarwal batted much like his opposite number and opener Shikhar Dhawan did in Delhi’s first innings. He not only instilled confidence in the incoming batsmen but also scored a century. His patient knock, including a six and 13 boundary-hits, frustrated Delhi to no end.

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With Tanay Thyagarajan, Agarwal added 93 runs for the seventh wicket, and another 60 with Hasan for the eighth, before being run out. Hasan, a handy late-order batsman, was far more flamboyant in his approach. His unbeaten knock was studded with four sixes, seven boundaries and came off just 62 deliveries.

Agarwal and Hasan fully exposed the inadequacy of the Delhi attack that had services of just two specialist fast bowlers – Ishant Sharma and Simarjeet Singh. Groin-injury to Pawan Suyal, who left the field during Hyderabad’s first innings, further exposed Delhi’s limited bowling options in this match.

Like in the first innings, Ishant took four wickets. Simarjeet scalped three while Kunwar Bidhuri could not add to his tally of two wickets taken on Thursday.

Delhi stayed in the hunt for a maximum of seven points after Shikhar Dhawan and Kunal Chandela survived a couple of confident appeals in seven overs of their innings. Delhi needs to win by 10 wickets to get seven points, including a bonus.

New Delhi: Delhi 284 & 24/0 in 7 overs vs Hyderabad 69 & 298 in 70.2 overs (Tanmay Agarwal 103, Mehdi Hasan 71 n.o., Ishant Sharma 4/89).

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