Ranji Trophy: Rayudu ton helps Hyderabad tighten screws

Ambati Rayudu, who represents Mumbai Indians in the IPL, slams 112; Ravi Teja adds to Railways’ woes hitting a quickfire 70 off 63.

Ambati Rayudu (in pic) stitched a 174-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Bavanaka Sandeep.   -  R.V. MOORTHY


Hyderabad tightened its control on the game, declaring its first innings for 474 for the loss of nine wickets on Day Two of the Ranji Trophy fourth round match against Railways at the Karnail Singh Stadium here on Thursday.

Led by captain Ambati Rayudu's 16th First Class century — more than three years after he last scored in three figures and his first since returning to Hyderabad — the visitor spent enough time at the crease to make sure it would not have to bat a second time in the game.


Ravi Teja then cleaned up Saurabh Wakaskar to provide early success for his team; Railways reduced to 35 for one at stumps with veterans Shivakant Shukla (12) and Nitin Bhille (10) at crease as Hyderabad began with spin from one end before doing away with the pretence of having a seamer with the new ball altogether.

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The 32-year Rayudu, whose last First Class century was an unbeaten 100 against Australia A in July 2014, and Bavanaka Sandeep continued their run-feast from where they left off on Wednesday. Rayudu's 100 and his side's 300 came almost simultaneously.

The Railways seamers persisted with their hard work and mixing up their lengths but on a pitch, where the ball rarely rose above the knee, there was little they could do. It was surprising to see just two spinners used by the hosts, despite the fact that the Karnail Singh pitch is known to stay slow and low. Hyderabad, however, had enough spin power in its ranks.

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The 174-run partnership was finally broken by Amit Mishra, who sent Rayudu's stumps flying, but by then the damage was done. Sandeep fell soon after for a well-made 82 but there was more to come from the lower order.

Teja's entertaining cameo towards the end only added to Railways' woes. The off-spinner, coming in at No 8, swept and drove every Railways bowler in his 63-ball 70 that included a huge six and nine fours, five of them sliced through the leg side. By the time he fell, caught in the slips off Karan Thakur, Hyderabad had gone past 450.

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