Hyderabad fought back well despite middle-order blues to post a challenging 303 for seven against Services at close of play on the first day of the four-day Ranji Trophy Group C match at the Bandra Kurla Sports Complex here on Sunday.
Put into bat, Hyderabad suffered the first blow in the 17th over when Benjamin Thomas (14) was sent back by left-arm spinner Vikas Yadav – the third consecutive failure by the batsman in the first three innings of his Ranji career.
Then, a fine 105-run stand between opener Akshath Reddy, who rediscovered his form to come up with a very significant contribution (64, 134b, 9 x 4), and in-form Balachander Anirudh (49, 94b, 7 x 4, 1 x 6) for the second wicket which put the innings back on track.
But once, medium-pacer Raushan Raj got rid of Akshath, there was a collapse of sorts in the middle-order as Hyderabad lost four wickets in the space of five runs with Raushan being the destructor in-chief. He bowled well and at one stage his figures read an impressive 12-5-27-4. At one stage, Hyderabad was reeling at 141 for six in 50.4 overs.
That was also the phase when Hyderabad captain Subramaniam Badrinath was also involved in a mix-up to be run out for a duck.
Later, it was another fighting stand of 135 runs for the seventh wicket between two left-handers — Bavanaka Sandeep ( 83 batting, 129b, 11 x 4) and Mehdi Hasan (61, 88b, 11 x 4) — which dashed Services of hopes of restricting Hyderabad to a modest score.
It was another run-out of the free-stroking Mehdi Hasan that provided some cheer for Services in the final session which was dominated by Hyderabad.
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