Ranji Trophy: Tripura plays it safe, but Andhra still ahead.

Abhijit Sarkar picked five wickets as Andhra ended its first innings at 402; Tripura was on 68/1 at stumps on Day 2.

Tripura's Abhijit Sarkar grabbed a five-wicket haul in the first innings against Andhra.

Tripura played it safe to close day two of its Ranji Trophy Group C match against Andhra on 68 for the loss of Bishal Ghosh at the Maharaja Bir Bikram University stadium on Friday. The visiting team had finished its first innings at 402 a little before tea.

Scorecard

Andhra’s pacemen seemed to get more out of the strip, their tight line rarely straying and keeping the batsmen on a tight leash. Not that the home side was in any hurry. It took its time to consolidate after Ghosh was out leg-before to Bandaru Ayyappa.

The visiting side’s three-man pace attack had variety, Ayyappa’s skiddy fare speeding onto the batsmen after pitching. Yarra Prithviraj’s over the wicket approach was nippy, with the left-armer’s assault packing the most pace. 

Ranji Blog, Day 2

Paidikalva Vijay Kumar was most nagging in his accuracy, the ball beating the bat and whisking past the wickets time and again. If his role was to contain, the seasoned speedster gave little away.

After play commenced, Tripura made a comeback after about an hour into day two. Abhijit Sarkar (five for 68), its most successful pacer this season, separated the well-entrenched duo of D.B. Prasanth Kumar and Ricky Bhui. 

Through the day he would  target the batsmen, rattling them occasionally with short-pitched deliveries or largely ply a wicket-to-wicket line that gave them little room to stroke freely. With a peach of a delivery which rose from outside leg and swerved away, Sarkar squeezed out a snick from Bhui to stumper Smit Patel. 

Sarkar accounted for Prasanth too, trapping the centurion in front. Ravi Teja fell the same way but off Rana Dutta, the latter’s firepower diminished somewhat following last year’s surgery on the ankle of his leading foot. Andhra was nonetheless sitting pretty on 351 for five at lunch.

B. Sumanth edged Dutta to Patel behind the wicket as the middle order batsman’s prod did not account for the deviation the ball took from the deck. Right when Andhra logged 400, Ashwin Hebbar attempted to pat Abhijit through square but bottom-edged the paceman into the woodwork.

Abhijit then combined with Ajoy Sarkar, a product of the MRF Pace Foundation, to bombard the batsmen with bouncers. The Andhra lower order and tail, known to resist, tamely folded this time. The last wicket to fall was claimed by Abhijit, who sent the off-stump on a tumble.

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