Ranji Trophy: Reddy helps Hyderabad take lead

Hyderabad thrived in the face of adversity to take a slender lead at stumps on day three.

Akshath Reddy made a vital century for Hyderabad

Opener Akshath Reddy could not have timed his knock better as his disciplined century (107, 235b, 13x4, 2x6) helped Hyderabad stage a wonderful fightback on the third day to score 233 for two, after being forced to follow-on by Delhi in the Ranji Trophy Group A match at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Monday.

Match centre

Resuming at its overnight score of 194 for eight, Hyderabad was bowled out for 205 in its first innings with left-arm pacer Kulwant Khejroliya and left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra picking four wickets each.

But, in its second innings, Hyderabad was off to a solid start with openers Tanmay Agarwal (42) and Akshath Reddy putting on 98 runs before the former was dismissed - going for a cut, only to be caught behind by substitute wicketkeeper Unmukt Chand off left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra.

Fortunately for Hyderabad, Akshath held one end up until the final minutes of play, with his shot selection being particularly impressive. Treating the bowling on merit and dispatching the loose balls with ease like when he stepped out to hit a straight six off left-arm spinner Manan Sharma, he was confidence personified until he entered the 90s.

Delhi’s catching too left a lot to be desired as quite a few chances were floored unlike in the first innings with Akshath once and Rohit Rayudu twice being the beneficiaries.

It was a nervous stay there for close to 45 minutes when Akshath even gave a couple of half-chances before completing his 12th Ranji ton in his 52nd match, according to HCA official scorer P. Chandrasekhar.

Importantly, Akshath and the young Rohit Rayudu (61 batting, 140b, 6x4), the latter looking more comfortable against spin than pace especially from Khejrolia, put on 115 runs for the second wicket, ensuring that Delhi has to bat again tomorrow. Hyderabad is now 23 runs ahead with eight wickets in hand after play was extended by 50 minutes beyond the scheduled close of play to complete the remaining overs.