ANANTAPUR: A brilliant 124-run partnership between opener L.N. Prasad Reddy (88 batting, 223b, 10x4) and A.S.K. Varma (61, 8x4, 1x6) put Andhra in a commanding position as it finished the second day at 201 for two in the super league Ranji Trophy cricket match against Uttar Pradesh at the Anantapur Sports Village ground here on Friday.
Earlier, U.P., resuming at 269 for eight, was all out for 298 in 97.5 overs.
On a day, when the U.P. bowlers were all at sea, local player, Prasad Reddy, continued his dream run (he scored an unbeaten 116 against Punjab in the second innings in Andhra’s last match) by compiling a stroke-filled 88.
In the process, he also crossed 2,000 runs in First Class cricket.
U.P. got the first breakthrough in the pre-lunch session when the in-form Hemal Watekar failed to negotiate a raising delivery from medium-pacer Sudeep Tyagi and was caught behind.
What followed was a fine exhibition of batting as the diminutive Prasad Reddy found a determined partner in Varma.
The entire post-lunch session belonged to both the players as they made the U.P. attack look ordinary.
Curbing their extravagant stroke-play, both Prasad and Varma punished anything that was bowled either short or around the legs.
The bowler to suffer the most was leg-spinner Piyush Chawla. On a wicket which offered no help to spinners, Prasad and Varma seldom hesitated to come down the wicket.
However, in the first over after tea, Varma failed to time his pull effectively off Abid Khan and spooned a catch to Ratnesh Misha at mid-wicket.
Skipper MS.K. Prasad joined Prasad Reddy and the pair has so far added 51 runs for the third wicket.
Earlier, Andhra’s off-spinner G. Shankar Rao struck a double blow in the eighth over of the day as he trapped both Khan and Tyagi in front, thus leaving Ravikant Shukla stranded at 99.
Uttar Pradesh (1st innings): R. Prakash c Prasad b Krishna 7, S. Shukla c Gyaneswara b Kumar 27, T. Srivastava c Varma b Raju 30, M. Kaif c Gyaneswara b Kumar 34, S. Raina c Watekar b Kumar 13, R. Shukla (not out) 99, A. Khan c Watekar b Raju 22, P. Chawla c Kumar b Krishna 23, R. Mishra c Prasad b Kumar 7, Abid lbw b Shankar Rao 7, S. Tyagi lbw b Shankar Rao 0, Extras (lb-10, w-8, nb-11): 29; Total (in 97.5 overs): 298.
Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-47, 3-108, 4-126, 5-126, 6-196, 7-234, 8-248, 9 -298.
Andhra bowling: Krishna 26-4-77-2, Kumar 29-7-75-4, Raju 19-3-70-2, Gyaneswara 7-1-29-0, Shankar Rao 8.5-3-10-2, Watekar 3-1-10-0, Faiq 3-0-10-0, Suresh 2-0-7-0.
Andhra (1st innings): H. Watekar c A. Khan b Tyagi 11, L.N. Prasad Reddy (batting) 88, A.S.K. Varma c Mishra b Abid 61, M.S.K. Prasad (batting) 26, Extras (b-4, lb-5, w-2, nb-4): 15; Total (two wkts., 81 overs): 201.
Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-150.
U.P. bowling: Abid 18-7-30-1, Tyagi 21-5-47-1, Mishra 14-4-32-0, Prakash 5-2-15-0, Chawla 18-3-56-0, Shukla 5-2-12-0.