GUWAHATI: Assam snatched a slender but vital 21-run first innings lead against Andhra on the second day of the four-day Ranji Trophy plate division semifinals at the Nehru Stadium here on Wednesday.
At close, chasing Andhra’s first innings score of 214, Assam ended with 235 for six in 87 overs thanks to its Maharashtra import Dheeraj Jadhav who remained undefeated on 102.
The slender lead notwithstanding, the match wore an open look with two more days of play left and most importantly the host has to bat second on a pitch assisting spinners considerably. Andhra’s first innings lasted only four balls on Wednesday morning as medium-pacer Dhiraj Goswami had T. Atchut Rao taken behind for the addition of only two runs to the overnight 212 for nine.
When Assam began its innings, opener Parvez Aziz was dismissed first ball by T. Atchut Rao. Amit Sinha then joined the other opener Jadhav and steadied the innings with a 58-run second wicket partnership.
Andhra kept up the pressure as Assam lost wickets at regular intervals. Jadhav continued to bat with authority against the spinners and picked up his third century on the trot.
Giving him company at stumps was Sairaj Bahutule (batting on 8).
The scores: Andhra — 1st innings: H. Vatekar c Konwar b Ahmed 12, L.N.P. Reddy lbw b Bahutule 53, A. Rakesh c Saikia b Konwar 66, Y. Venugopala Rao c Saikia b Goswami 25, G. Shankara Rao c Aziz b Konwar 1, B. Sumanth c T. Singh b Konwar 25, K.S. Sahabuddin lbw b Konwar 0, D. Shivakumar (run out) 5, V. Manoj Sai c Saikia b Bahutule 0, T. Atchut Rao c Saikia b Goswami 5, G.V.S. Prasad (not out) 7; Extras: (b-10, lb-3, w-2) 15; Total: (in 93.4 overs) 214.
Fall of wickets: 1-24, 2-96, 3-155, 4-156, 5-177, 6-183, 7-196, 8-197, 9-201.
Assam bowling: Ahmed 20-7-40-1, Tarafdar 9-2-37-0, Goswami 9.4-0-21-2, Bahutule 31-10-61-2, Konwar 24-6-42-4.
Assam — 1st innings: D. Jadhav (batting) 102, P. Aziz c Sai b A. Rao 0, A. Sinha c & b Prasad 38, A. Mazumdar c sub (D.S. Kumar) b S. Rao 5, Tarjinder Singh b S. Rao 20, K. Saikia c Sumanth b Prasad 29, D. Goswami c Sahabuddin b Prasad 14, S. Bahutule (batting) 8; Extras: (b-8, lb-11) 19; Total: (for six wickets in 87 overs) 235.
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-58, 3-69, 4-113, 5-157, 6-184.
Andhra bowling: Sahabuddin 12-4-25-0, A. Rao 10-5-23-1, G.V.S. Prasad 34-7-85-3, G. Shankara Rao 29-5-81-2, D. Shivakumar 2-0-2-0.