Ranji Trophy: Andhra completes innings win

Andhra defeated Tripura by an innings and 38 runs in their Ranji Trophy Group C match at the Sardar Patel stadium here on Wednesday.

Hanuma Vihari Andhra

Double centurion and Andhra captain G. Hanuma Vihari was adjudged Man of the Match.   -  V.V. Subrahmanyam

Andhra defeated Tripura by an innings and 38 runs in their Ranji Trophy Group C match at the Sardar Patel stadium here on Wednesday. The vanquished side’s chase ended 105 minutes after lunch on the concluding day at 315 against a first innings lead of 353. Double centurion and Andhra captain G. Hanuma Vihari was adjudged Man of the Match.

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Tripura’s resistance, shown in ample measure on Tuesday through its overnight pair of Yashpal Singh and Abhijit Dey, crumbled in the first hour itself, the duo separated within a short span of each other. Bad luck continued to blight Vijay’s assault aimed largely at the stumps and its immediate vicinity.

Abhijit Dey edged one delivery that was moving away and waiting with open arms to accept the catch was stumper K.S. Bharat. Yashpal perished the same way but by falling prey to the craft of left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt.

The will to withstand Andhra’s advance seemed lacking in Tripura’s batsmen, evident from Gurinder Singh’s dismissal. Although he had toiled on the bowling front, the southpaw easily the pick of the lot, Gurinder’s backfoot pull off Bhatt appeared half-hearted. The ball ballooned slowly towards wide mid-on Vihari, who broke no sweat to complete the formality. From a respectable 165 for three at the close on Tuesday, Tripura wasn’t exactly in the pink of health, going to lunch on Wednesday at 252 for six.

The northeastern side’s slide continued after the meal too. Andhra opted for the second new ball and Vijay got into the dismissal act soon enough. Without straining his back too much, the southern squad’s spearhead got the ball to deviate just a wee bit away from the batsman. Udiyan Bose duly obliged with a snick, which second slip D.B. Prashanth picked up neatly.

Bhatt, tweaking from the temple end and plying his fare with the relatively new cherry, had Rajat Dey’s stumps splayed with the arm ball. The added responsibility arising out of Ch. Stephen’s absence due to a groin injury increased the pace load on Vijay, known for his endurance and never to complain. Sashikanth stepped up to the plate but wasn’t quite as penetrative as his seasoned senior.

It was a memorable outing for Vijay, a native of Paidikalva village in Andhra’s Kadapa district. Not only did he cross the 200 Ranji wickets mark, his economy rate of 2.29 was by far the best in the bowling effort, if not his figures of four for 84. It was fitting that the last wicket to fall, of Tripura skipper Mura Singh, caught by substitute Karthik Raman at deep point, went into his bag. It capped a fine display of the nine overs he bowled on the trot from the pavilion end after lunch.