Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Akshath, Sandeep put Hyderabad in command

Akshath Reddy and B. Sandeep put Hyderabad in a dominant position with an unbeaten double-century and a 221-ball 130, respectively, on Day 2 in Tirunelveli.

Akshath Reddy (left) and B. Sandeep stitched a 246-run partnership for the fourth wicket.   -  R. Ragu

Skipper Akshath Reddy hammered his maiden double ton (248 n.o., 477b, 22x4, 3x6), and B. Sandeep his seventh first-class century (130, 221b, 15x4, 1x6), as Hyderabad scored a whopping 523 for seven against Tamil Nadu on the second day of their Ranji Trophy clash at the Sankar Cements grounds here on Tuesday.

With the pitch having nothing to offer for the bowlers, it was clear that the visitor would go out there and make merry. It was part of the team’s plan too. And, Akshath and Sandeep, the overnight pair, did just that by playing the first session safe and secure and shifted gears thereafter.

As it happened

The Tamil Nadu bowlers toiled hard and returned to the dressing room with just four wickets for the day. Sandeep fell to the hard-working Mohammed, who was quite effective on most occasions. The former tried to fish a delivery that was moving away and offered a regulation catch to B. Aparajith at first slip. But he had done enough damage by then adding another 110 runs to the fourth-wicket stand of 246 (overnight 136) with his skipper.

His dismissal offered a ray of a hope for the host to fight back, and it did by picking two more through paceman K. Vignesh and debutant C. V. Varun. But Akshath continued to stand tall. He played a flawless innings and slog-swept left-arm spinner Rahil Shah to the ropes to bring up his double hundred much to the joy of his team. On his way, he also stitched a 109-run stand for the seventh wicket with Saaketh, who fell later in the day to Rahil.

“I took my time and played the ball to its merits. Earlier, I used to get out to a bad shot which I did want to do this time. I just want to be consistent and score more runs,” said Akshath, who had scored a 196 against Mumbai in 2013.

It’s going to be a tough climb from here for the home team as the Hyderabad skipper might choose to continue batting on the third morning. “I believe the wicket will start turning on the third day and we are waiting for it to further deteriorate,” he said.

The scores

Hyderabad – 1innings: Tanmay Agarwal c Jagadeesan b Mohammed 10, Akshath Reddy (batting) 248,Rohit Rayadu c Anirudh b Rahil 13, Himalay Agarwal c Jagadeesan b Vignesh 29, B. Sandeep c Aparajith b Mohammed 130, Sumanth Kolla c Jagadeesan b Vignesh 5, Akash Bhandari b Varun 17, Saaketh c Jagadeesan b Rahil Shah 42, C.V. Milind (batting) 9; Extras (nb-1, w-11, b-6, lb-2) 20. Total (for seven wkts., in 177 overs) 523

Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-54, 3-113, 4-359, 5-375, 6-397, 7-506

TN bowing: Vignesh 26-1-81-2, Mohammed 27-5-83-2, Varun 38-7-105-1, Rahil 43-8-109-2, Aparajith 15-1-53-0, Kousik 17-3-50-0, Kaushik 9-0-24-0, Anirudh 2-0-10-0