In response to Madhya Pradesh’s 321, Andhra closed day two on 177 for five, in their Ranji Trophy Group C match at the Dr. P.V.G. Raju-ACA Sports Complex here on Thursday.
Andhra’s start was hardly promising as it lost K.S. Bharat for no score, given lbw to a ball that should have missed leg stump. With the odd ball taking turn as the day wore on, MP’s spinners were pressed into service from both ends.
Playing on the back foot, D.B. Prashanth was rapped on the pads by Mihir Hirwani off a delivery that skidded in, catching the batsman unawares. At the stroke of tea, Ricky Bhui strayed out of the crease and was stumped by Naman Ojha off Ankit Sharma’s orthodox left-arm spin.
READ: Day 1 report
G. Hanuma Vihari seemed set for another long stay in the middle, to carry on from the triple century effort in the previous game. A straight driven six and seven boundaries only underscored his resolve. With less than an hour to the close, the Andhra skipper shuffled across to work away to the on-side an Ishwar Pandey delivery but got hit on the pads.
Shortly after, B. Sumanth posted his half-century. In celebratory mode perhaps, he smacked Pandey’s bouncer to the square leg boundary. Sumanth’s miscued sweep off Mihir was picked by Puneet Datey at short fine-leg.
When the play commenced on Thursday, Andhra took the second new ball after an over was completed with the first one. K.V. Sasikanth struck soon enough, rapping Ankit Sharma in front. Prithviraj, showing no trace of a niggling back injury, got the ball to lift from a good length. Saransh Jain went for a hook but gloved it to wicketkeeper Bharat.
Datey then joined hands with Harpreet Singh Bhatia for a 50-run stand for the eighth wicket. The latter’s 153-ball 88 was as much about patience as poise, each of his nine boundaries dispatched with authority, worthy of a vice-captain.
A rush of blood resulted in his exit. Pulling part-time leggie Ravi Teja with the spin, Harpreet holed out to B. Sumanth at deep mid-wicket, exactly an over after Datey was trapped in front by Bandaru Ayyappa. Low on luck, Ayyappa had hitherto gone wicketless. It was fitting in a way that he brought the curtains down on MP’s first innings, Mihir Hirwani’s hoick off Ayyappa's bowling ballooning to Vihari at mid-on.
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