Ranji Trophy: Sandeep, Milind light up Hyderabad's first innings

Clearly relishing the huge opportunity on a pitch which only merited sensible stroke-selection, both Sandeep and Milind demonstrated their efficacy with some excellent stroke-play.

Bavanaka Sandeep

Hyderabad's Bavanaka Sandeep celebrates after scoring his maiden double century in Ranji Trophy.   -  V. V. Subrahmanyam

Bavanaka Sandeep scored his maiden Ranji double century, while Chama Milind his maiden ton to help Hyderabad post a mammoth 580 before declaring against Services on the second day of the Ranji Trophy Group C match at the Bandra Kurla Complex Stadium here on Monday. Services in reply was off to a confident start, scoring 77 for no loss at close of play, as it began its massive chase for the first innings lead.

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For Hyderabad, the two left-handers — Sandeep (203 not out, 332b, 22x4, 3x6) and Milind (136, 208b, 18x4, 3x6) — strung together a massive 267-run stand for the eighth-wicket which effectively put Services bowling on the mat.

Clearly relishing the huge opportunity on a pitch which only merited sensible stroke-selection, both Sandeep and Milind demonstrated their efficacy with some excellent stroke-play.

Sandeep was more at ease playing square of the wicket, but always in control of his strokes. On the other hand, Milind was a little more aggressive, and every time he stepped forward, there was a touch of confidence, which was evident in his three massive sixes.

“My specific intent was not to give away my wicket. Just wanted to stay as long as possible and not that I am focussing more on batting now,” a delighted Milind said later on his first Ranji ton in 21st game. “Yes, the focus shifts to my bowling and I am very keen to prove a point or two,” he walked after the tea break.

For Sandeep, it was his second century of the season and he served another reminder of his utility out there in the middle even as cramps restricted his movement in final phase of the innings.

Sandeep, who was on 193 at tea, only delayed the think-tank bid to declare early as it had to wait for some more time after the break to see him score what turned out to be a chanceless double century.

For Services, medium-pacer Raushan Raj was the most impressive with a five-wicket haul when others struggled to find their rythmn.