Nineteen-year-old Bavanaka Sandeep showed signs of being patient, as well as being a sprinter, notching up his maiden century off just 138 balls for Hyderabad against Jharkand in their Ranji Trophy Plate Division match at the JSCA Stadium here on Thursday.
Without any trace of nerves when going out to the middle for the first time in the nation's premier cricket tournament, the second year Information Technology student of Teegala Krishna Reddy Engineering College achieved the feat more than a decade after Daniel Manohar, who reached three figures on debut against Karnataka.
After a cheeky single, Sandeep's shirt was soiled but his flawless, unconquered 130 remained unstained by any ugly stroke and was the highpoint of Hyderabad's chase that halted at 349 for five on day two, in response to Jharkand's 200 on Wednesday.
Heeding Hyderabad coach Abdul Azeez's advice to avoid rash shots, Sandeep stamped out the sweep, his pet stroke, en route to a steady and stately knock, that spanned a little over three hours and was embellished with 24 stunning boundaries.
Such was the stylish southpaw's self-assurance that from 84 at tea, he slammed five boundaries in quick succession to make the magic mark, totally oblivious of the nervous nineties that find seasoned campaigners quaking in their boots.
Playing second fiddle but providing the invaluable pillar of support was Ibrahim Khaleel, also unbeaten on 47.
Earlier, openers Shashank Nag and Akshat Reddy warded off the first hour threat admirably, the former the first of four victims to be rapped on the pads on a strip of unpredictable bounce. Akshat, incidentally Sandeep's senior in the same college, perished just two short of a half-century.
Syed Ahmad Quadri, promoted to No. 6, justified his elevation with a calm and composed 50. Hitherto, underrated and unrecognised despite a valiant knock (70-plus) against Mumbai, which routed Hyderabad on home turf last season, Quadri seemed set for a big score, until a moment's hesitation to go forward had him trapped leg-before.
Jharkand — 1st innings: 200.
Hyderabad — 1st innings: Shashank Nag lbw b Kuldeep 37, Akshat c S.P. Gautam b Kuldeep 48, D. Ravi Teja lbw b Varun 1, G.H. Vihari lbw b Kuldeep 13, B. Sandeep (batting) 130, S.A. Quadri lbw b Samar 50, I. Khaleel (batting) 47, Extras (b-8, lb-9, nb-6): 23; Total (for five wkts. in 116 overs): 349.
Fall of wickets: 1-82, 2-84, 3-112, 4-117, 5-226.
Jharkhand bowling: Kuldeep 20-6-50-3, Rahul 16-6-44-0, Varun 19-4-61-1, Samar 30-6-68-1, Shahbaz 26-1-95-0, S. Tiwary 5-1-14-0 .