Vidarbha's openers Amit Paunikar (82, 203b, 13x4) and Akshay Kolhar (74, 185b, 10x4) put on 170 runs thus helping the host finish the third day's play at 265 for three off 108 overs against Andhra in the Ranji Trophy Plate ‘B' match at the Vidarbha Cricket Association stadium here on Wednesday.

The day belonged to Paunikar and Kolhar. The gritty openers, realising that was there hardly any help for the pacers from the wicket, offered the full face of the bat and accumulated runs meticulously.

After lunch, Paunikar, who had survived a couple of close calls, tried to cut Vijay Kumar but ended up holing out to substitute Gnaneswara Rao at gully.

In the 67th over, Kolhar also fell by the cut shot, attempting an ambitious shot against Venugopala Rao.

Minutes before tea, Vidarbha witnessed the fall of Alind Naidu to the guiles of Venugopala Rao.

The absence of Sairaj Bahutule, who has been ruled out for the season due to an index finger fracture, made the experienced Venugopala Rao work overtime as he bowled 26 overs at a stretch from one end.

The Andhra pace attack lacked variation and sting, and the pace-trio hardly used their shoulders to extract bounce from an unfriendly wicket.

Both A. Deshpande (33 batting) and S. Shirvastava (29 batting) succeeded in negotiating the second new ball in the fading light.

The scores: Andhra — 1st innings: 370

Vidarbha — 1st innings: A. Paunikar c sub. b P. Vijay Kumar 82, A. Kolhar c L.N. Prasad Reddy b Venogopala Rao 74, Alind Naidu c. A.G. Pradeep b Venugopala Rao 30, A. Deshpande (batting) 33, S. Shrivastava (batting) 29, Extras (b-4, lb-10, nb-3) 17; Total (for 3 in 108 overs) 265.

Fall of wickets: 1-170, 2-174, 3-213.

Andhra bowling: K.S. Shahabuddin 18-6-33-0, T. Atchuta Rao 18-1-48-1, G. Sankar Rao 23-3-58-0, P. Vijay Kumar 22-6-51-1, Y. Venugopala Rao 27-7-61-2 .

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