Ranji Trophy: Hyderabad fritters away a perfect start

Electing to bat, both Tanmay Agarwal and Akshath Reddy had a testing time against Punjab's pace trio, which helped reduce the host side to 240 for seven.

Hyderabad captain P. Akshath Reddy (left) and Tanmay Agarwal put on a century stand for the first wicket against Punjab on the first day of the Ranji Trophy Group B match in Hyderabad on Saturday.   -  v.v. subrahmanyam

Hyderabad frittered away a perfect start to finish the first day on a disappointing 240 for seven against Punjab in a Ranji Trophy Group-B match at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Saturday.

Electing to bat, both Tanmay Agarwal and Akshath Reddy had a testing time against the pace attack of Manpreet Singh, Siddharth Kaul and Sanvir Singh. But to his credit, Akshath weathered the storm and essayed some flowing drives on either side of the wicket against leggie Mayank Markande and Arpit.

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But just when the duo appeared to stamp their authority, Sanvir induced a poor shot from Akshath to end the opening partnership; the right-hander nicking a harmless delivery into the wicketkeeper’s hands.

But Tanmay reached a well-compiled half-century which included three massive sixes - one each off Markande, Sanvir and Kaul.

However, Kaul's mind games proved too much for Tanmay, who after being tested with a few short-pitched deliveries, fell to one that was pitched up and moving away, brushing the edge en route to the slip cordon.

Himalay Agarwal's (51 batting) gritty innings — he was dropped by Arpit Pannu at short-leg on seven — provided brief respite.

The normally reliable southpaw B. Sandeep was out of sorts, taking 45 balls to hit his first four, and was out stumped by Abhishek Gutpa off Markande. Wicketkeeper K.S.K. Chaitanya was caught at slip off the same bowler as Hyderabad lost four wickets in the final session for just 67 to let the momentum sway.

Brief Scores:

At Hyderabad: Hyderabad 240 for seven in 90 overs (Tanmay Agarwal 60, Akshath Reddy 77, Himalay Agarwal 51 batting) vs. Punjab; Toss: Hyderabad.