Ranji Trophy: Baroda escapes with a draw

After conceding a 181-run lead and suffering an early collapse in its second innings, Baroda just about managed to prevent a defeat against Andhra.

Aditya Waghmode rescued Baroda with an innings of 56.   -  B. Jothi Ramalingam (File Photo)

Two useful partnerships proved significant in preventing Baroda’s defeat in its Ranji Trophy tie against Andhra on the final day. Aditya Waghmode and Vishnu Solanki put on 122 runs for the third wicket, and Swapnil Singh and Pinal Shah added 59 for the seventh wicket as Baroda salvaged a point.

This was after Andhra posted a mammoth 554 in its first innings, taking a led of 181. Resuming the day on 505 for nine, Andhra’s B. Sumanth started in high gear as he led his side’s quest for quick runs. Sumanth started with a six off Atit Sheth over long-off after quickly getting to his fifty before he pulled the bowler over fine-leg in the next over for a boundary.

He gave the charge to the fast bowlers – Babasafi Pathan and Irfan Pathan – as he slammed four more boundaries to quickly move into the 80s before the latter trapped him leg-before. Andhra made 49 runs in 9.5 overs before being bowled out.

With a huge task to save the match, Baroda started its innings on a disastrous note as Kedar Devdhar played down the wrong line off the first ball of the innings to fast bowler Ayyappa Bandaru and was leg-before. Ayyappa then struck again, dismissing Darshan Mistry leg-before to reduce Baroda to 10 for two in the seventh over.

Slow recovery

Waghmode and Solanki slowly steadied the ship, taking the host to 39 for two at lunch. Post-tea, both batsmen batted sensibly by picking their boundaries, and got to their fifties.

However, as in the first innings, at the stroke of tea, Baroda lost its third wicket when Solanki was caught behind off medium pacer Ashwin Hebbar. That opened the floodgates once again, as Baroda lost three wickets for four runs post tea, giving Andhra a sniff of victory before Swapnil produced yet another fine half-century to save his team the blushes.

Swapnil and Shah started tentatively, struggling to even rotate the strike. For the first 15 overs in the last session, Baroda added just 13 runs before Swapnil broke free with two boundaries off Ayyappa to go past 150. Later, he slammed three boundaries in one over off leg-spinner Ravi Teja to ease Baroda through to safety.

Brief Scores
  • Baroda 373 and 195 for 6 (Solanki 68, Waghmode 56; Hebbar 2 for 16, Ayyappa 2 for 35) drew with Andhra 554 (Vihari 150, Bhui 145; Sheth 5 for 91, Swapnil 2 for 95).

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