Ranji Trophy: Hyderabad secures bonus point with 10-wicket win

Openers Tanmay Agarwal (15) and Akshath Reddy (7) scored the required 23 runs in the second innings with ease in just 5.2 overs. It was Hyderabad's first win of the season.

Hyderabad's Mehdi Hasan picked up four wickets in the second innings.   -  G.P. Sampath Kumar

Hyderabad was denied an innings victory but it still managed to take away a bonus point after winning by 10 wickets against Railways, its first win of the season in the fourth round match of the Ranji Trophy at the Karnail Singh Stadium here on Saturday.

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Openers Tanmay Agarwal (15) and Akshath Reddy (7) scored the required 23 runs in the second innings with ease in just 5.2 overs. The visiting team had done everything to avoid batting a second time but it was forced was forced to come out again by Manish Rao. The 27-year old debutant remained unbeaten on 85 (in 128 balls), a knock that included four sixes, nine fours and a lesson for the other Railways batsmen on playing positive.

Rao, who had earlier provided crucial support in the first innings by stubbornly hanging around for a long time on Friday, proved he could switch gears when needed. If his 114-run 33 was all about staying put at the crease, the second innings was about taking the attack to the opposition.

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At 107 for six, Railways was still 121 behind Hyderabad's first innings total of 474 for nine declared when Rao walked in as the number eight batsman. There was little hope of surviving the session; the recognised batsmen were all back in the hut barring Arindam Ghosh and even the Railways dressing room seemed resigned to another innings defeat.

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But Rao appeared oblivious to the obvious, attacking from the word go. He took charge, swatted the Hyderabad bowlers to all corners of the ground, smacked Pragyan Ojha for two huge sixes over long off and rendered the Hyderabad spinners harmless. Once Ghosh was gone, nicking Rohit Rayudu to wicketkeeper Sumanth Kolla, Rao went about building partnerships with the tail even as the Hyderabad bowlers targeted the other end.

His approach was in contrast to the rest of Railways batting that appeared clueless. Continuing from its overnight score of 13 for no loss, Railways first lost opener Shivakant Shukla in the ninth over of the day to left-arm spinner Mehdi Hasan and Saurabh Wakaskar followed six balls later, cleaned up by seamer Ravi Kiran.

Captain Mahesh Rawat promoted himself to try and up the scoring but only got 19. Four wickets for 22 runs saw the middle order collapse and, barring Rao's heroics, only a brief rearguard resistance from Anureet Singh saw the host go past the required total, even if only by 22 runs.

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