Ranji Trophy: Bad light denies Hyderabad victory

Needing 12 runs for an outright win, Hyderabad batsmen frustratingly watched the umpires stop play due to bad light on the concluding day of the match at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium here on Sunday.

B.Anirudh and K.Sumanth had a 124-run partnership for the third wicket.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

There could not have been a more bizarre finish to the Ranji Trophy Group C match between Hyderabad and Himachal Pradesh. Needing 12 runs for an outright win, Hyderabad batsmen frustratingly watched the umpires stop play due to bad light on the concluding day of the match at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium here on Sunday.

>Scorecard

Chasing 212, Hyderabad lost two wickets early but banked on the 124-run third wicket partnership between B. Anirudh (63) and K. Sumanth (67) to reach the brink of victory. When Hyderabad was at 200 for six in its second innings, shadows of the stadium building covered almost the whole ground and the umpires decided that the light was not good enough for play to continue.

Hyderabad captain S. Badrinath and Mehdi Hasan left the ground out of disgust. Even as there was no chance of light improving at the fag end of the day, the umpires stood in the middle till the draw of stumps in a farcical manner.

“We have to go by the readings for fast bowlers and spinners on the first day. We offered Himachal the choice of using spinners but they did not agree. Yesterday, we had offered Hyderabad the option of using their spinners but they had declined,” explained umpire Nikhil Patwardhan.

Hyderabad coach Bharat Arun said the umpires could have used their discretion when one team was on the verge of winning. “Rules should be used to improve the game, not kill it.”

Hyderabad gathered three points on the basis of gaining first innings lead, while Himachal settled for one.

Earlier, beginning from its overnight aggregate of 232 for six, Himachal scored 69 runs more to finish its second innings at 301 and set a target of 212.

Robin Bist, resuming from 50, continued his good work to guide his lower order colleagues to put up two crucial partnerships and help Himachal pose a challenging task before Hyderabad.

Bist banked on his excellent footwork to play some exquisite shots on both sides and remained unbeaten on a 171-ball 84.

Hyderabad stuttered at 35 for two but the duo of Anirudh and Sumanth played with composure to get set and then gather runs more freely. They ran hard to rotate the strike and struck some impressive boundaries.

Sumanth got his fifth half-century, comprising four fours and a six. Anirudh, Hyderabad's saviour in the first innings, again got a half-century, containing eight impressive boundaries, to be adjudged man-of-the-match.

On the other hand, Hyderabad, despite knowing that play was affected due to bad light on previous days, did not do itself any favour by dragging the match till the end.