T. Ravi Teja may have fallen for 75, but his knock may be of more value than a century. On the third day of the Group ‘B’ Ranji Trophy contest between Hyderabad and Himachal at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here, the 24-year-old farmed the strike well and kept scoring under pressure to help the host take take a vital one-run lead.
Resuming on 146 for one, Hyderabad lost wickets at regular intervals. Captain and opener Akshath Reddy wilted under pressure in the nervous nineties; after facing 11 balls on 99 (192b, 15x4, 2x6), he failed to complete what would have been his 14th Ranji Trophy hundred as pacer Arpit Guleria, the pick of the bowlers in the morning session, trapped him on the shuffle. With the middle-order failing to come good in the face of accurate bowling, Hyderabad was reduced to 239 for six at one stage, with even B. Sandeep (50, 107b, 3x4) back in the pavilion.
Ravi Teja (75, 116b, 10x4, 2x6) held the lower-order together with a disciplined approach. His stroke selection was near-perfect, and the way he rotated the strike even while unleashing some stunning strokes off both pace and spin was a treat to watch.
Read | Mumbai-Gujarat match poised on knife edge
Ravi Teja was run-out with the team still needing 13 runs to take the lead. But the last wicket pair of Ravi Kiran (4, 49b) and Mudassir Mohammad (9n.o., 12b, 1x4) showed grit and determination to grab the slender lead during their 35-minute stand.
The last two sessions also witnessed verbal exchanges between the Hyderabad pair of Ravi Teja and Ravi Kiran, and the Himachal players. After quite a few animated gestures, the umpires and Himachal captain Prashant Chopra intervened to bring order.
- Hyderabad 352 (Akshath Reddy 99, T. Ravi Teja 75, B. Sandeep 50, Arpit Guleria 3 for 64) leads Himachal 351 by one run.
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