Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Bhui, Bharat tons ensure draw for Andhra

Ricky Bhui, Srikar Bharat scored centuries and put up an unbeaten 186-run partnership to salvage a draw for Andhra in a Group A match against Vidarbha.

File photo of Ricky Bhui who played a key role in salvaging a draw for Andhra against Vidarbha.   -  R. V. MOORTHY

For Ricky Bhui and wicketkeeper-batsman Srikar Bharat, saving the match was the only objective when Andhra resumed its innings on the final day at 100 for two against Vidarbha in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group A match at Mulapadu Cricket Complex here on Thursday.

The seasoned duo responded to the team’s cause by scoring unbeaten centuries and in the process putting an unbroken partnership of 186 runs for the fourth wicket which effectively dented any hopes of two-times champion Vidarbha pulling off a victory on a batting friendly pitch.

Opener C.R. Gnaneshwar (61, 140b, 8x4, 1x6) was the first to go when he was bowled by pacer Rajneesh Gurbani in the 10th over of the day before Bhui and Bharat combined to come up with some classy strokes on either side of the wicket.

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Bhui was lucky to survive a confident appeal for caught behind off left-arm spinner Aditya Sarwate even before he opened his account.

But, putting that behind him, Bhui (100 n.o, 209b, 13x4, 1x6) and Bharat (102 n.o., 208b, 13x4, 2x6) ensured that the home team didn’t suffer an embarrassing defeat in the season opener after a pathetic first innings display.

Interestingly, the two scored their ninth centuries in first-class cricket - Bhui in his 40th match and Bharat in his 70th game.