Hyderabad was staring at another defeat and possible relegation when it finished the third day at 139 for seven, after conceding a lead of 61 runs to Vidarbha in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group match at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Friday.
Earlier, in reply to the home team’s first innings score of 272, Vidarbha, thanks to captain Faiz Fazal’s impressive knock (151, 258b, 19×4, 3×6) took the vital first innings lead to gain a psychological advantage.
But, once Fazal was dismissed, slashing left-arm pacer C. Milind to be caught at covers, the team was eventually bowled out for 333.
For Hyderabad, 19-year-old left-arm spinner Aniket Reddy displayed great temperament on debut to return with a creditable four-wicket haul.
When the second innings began, much was expected from Hyderabad’s seasoned opening pair of captain Tanmay Agarwal and Akshath Reddy. But, they disappointed once again.
Akshath failed to read the late swing to be bowled by pacer Aditya Thakare and Tanmay stepped out and attempted an irresponsible lofted stroke only to lose his stumps to left-arm spinner Aditya Sarwate, who was the pick of the bowlers.
Rush of blood
Young debutant Prateek Reddy also was a culprit of rush of blood. He stepped out to loft off-spinner Akshay Wakhare over mid-on, but the leading edge flew to point.
Rahul Buddhi hit two huge sixes off Sarwate in one over but gave the impression of playing a T20 game. He was out flicking Sarwate straight to short-leg.
Then, Mehdi Hasan joined wicketkeeper-batsman K. Sumanth and the former was defiant even as he played the big shots before being trapped leg-before by Wakhare.
Hyderabad’s hopes now rest on how well the in-form Sumanth farms the strike with the tail on Saturday to give the bowlers something to fight back.
Hyderabad — 1st innings: 272.
Vidarbha — 1st innings: Faiz Fazal c Akshath b Milind 151, Akshay Kolhar lbw b Ravi Kiran 3, Aniruddha Choudhari c Sumanth b Ravi Kiran 4, Ganesh Satish st. Sumanth b Aniket 65, Siddesh Wath c Sumanth b Siraj 28, Akshay Wadkar lbw b Hassan 43, Aditya Sarwate c & b Aniket 23, Akshay Wakhare c Akshath b Aniket 1, Rajneesh Gurbani c Sumanth b Ravi Kiran 1, Yash Thakur c Sumanth b Aniketh 5, Aditya Thakare (not out) 0; Extras (lb-6, w-3): 9; Total (in 113.4 overs): 333.
Fall of wickets: 1-16, 2-24, 3-148, 4-220, 5-286, 6-325, 7-327, 8-327, 9-333.
Hyderabad bowling: Siraj 23-3-91-1, Ravi Kiran 18.4-7-25-3, Milind 20-7-57-1, Ravi Teja 12-1-48-0, Hassan 17-3-45-1, Aniket 23-6-61-4.
Hyderabad — 2nd innings: Tanmay Agarwal b Sarwate 8, Akshath Reddy b Thakare 9, Rahul Buddhi c Choudhari b Sarwate 39, T. Ravi Teja c Wath b Sarwate 4, A. Prateek Reddy c Thakur b Wakhare 26, K. Sumanth (batting) 25, C. Milind b Sarwate 2, Mehdi Hassan lbw b Wakhare 24, G. Aniket Reddy (batting) 1; Extras (b-1): 1; Total: (for seven wkts. in 49 overs): 139.
Fall of wickets: 1-16, 2-32, 3-42, 4-87, 5-87, 6-89, 7-132.
Vidarbha bowling: Gurbani 4-0-21-0, Thakare 4-2-8-1, Sarwate 20-4-68-4, Wakhare 17-5-36-2, Thakur 3-0-4-0, Choudhari 1-0-1-0.