Ranji Trophy: Bhui, Bharat centuries put Andhra in command

Centuries from Ricky Bhui and K.S. Bharat helped Andhra take a commanding 231-run lead as Hyderabad was left with the only option of saving the game at stumps on Day three.

Andhra batsman Ricky Bhui celebrates his century against Hyderabad in Vizianagaram on Tuesday.   -  V.V. SUBRAHMANYAM

Ricky Bhui cracked his fourth century (129, 248b, 14 x 4, 2 x 6) of the season and wicket-keeper batsman K.S. Bharat his first (178 not out, 277b, 22 x 4, 2 x 6) to help Andhra take a commanding 231-run lead against Hyderabad on the third day of the four-day Ranji Trophy Group-B match at Dr. PVG Raju ACA Sports Complex on Tuesday. 

In reply, Hyderabad, left with the only option of saving the game now, was off to a decent start, scoring 33 for no loss at close of play.

Interestingly, it was the free-stroking, wicket-keeper batsman Bharat who was the focus of attention with his wide range of strokes - both against pace and spin.

As it Happened

The way he pulled debutant pacer Ajay Dev Goud for a six and a boundary in one over very early in the morning and then leaned into those exquisite cover drives off both left-arm spinner Mehdi Hasan and offie Saaketh Sai Ram was a real treat to watch.

Not surprisingly, it was he, who first reached the century in style pulling pacer Ravi Teja to the fence.

Bhui, too, left his impression with his trademark punches on either side of the wicket. His was a more measured and compact approach to the task as the two strung together a 234-run stand for the fourth wicket which effectively shut Hyderabad out of the game. 

Andhra wicket-keeper batsman K.S. Bharat scored a brilliant unbeaten century against Hyderabad in Vizianagaram on Tuesday.   -  V.V. SUBRAHMANYAM

 

Ricky eventually got out swishing one on off-stump off pacer Ravi Teja. Mehdi picked a couple of wickets when the batsmen went for the slog to score some quick runs.

READ: Vidarbha thrashes Mumbai by an innings and 145 runs

Overall, it was a disappointing bowling display with Ajay Dev Goud and Saaketh being the least impressive on a pitch which had eased considerably. 

Brief scores:

At Vizianagaram: Hyderabad 271 & 33 for no loss in 10 overs vs Andhra 502 for seven decl. in 154 overs (C.R. Gnaneshwar 65, Ricky Bhui 129, K.S. Bharat 178 n.o.).