Punjab recovered well from early blows to post a more respectable 261 for six against Andhra at close of play on the first day of the four-day Ranji Trophy Group B match at the ACA-VDCA Stadium here on Thursday.
Pacer Ayyappa Bandaru struck two big blows in the third over of the innings when he removed opener Jiwanjot Singh, forcing the batsman to snick to Prashanth Kumar, and then cleaned up Anmolpreet Singh (0) to leave Punjab struggling at four for two in 2.5 overs.
Read: As it happened
A crucial 92-run stand for the third wicket between Shubman Gill (56, 92b, 5 x 4, 2 x 6) and captain Mandeep Singh (68, 187b, 11 x 4) put the innings back on track before the former was dismissed by pacer P. Vijay Kumar.
Later, Mandeep and the free-stroking Gurkeerat Singh Mann (41, 58b, 6 x4) put on another handy partnership of 64 runs for the fourth wicket before the dangerous-looking Gurkeerat failed to the guiles of leg-spinner Karn Sharma.
If Andhra entertained any hopes of coming back into the game strongly, they were dashed by the resilience of Sanvir Singh (63 batting, 109b, 11 x 4) who kept the bowlers at bay with a perfect blend of caution and aggression.
For the home team, pacer Aiyyappa was the pick of the bowlers taking three wickets and Karn Sharma chipped in with two wickets.
Punjab 1st innings (Shubman Gill 56, Mandeep Singh 68, Gurkeerat Singh 41, Sanvir Singh 63 batting; Aiyyappa 3-64, Karn Sharma 2-66) vs Andhra
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