: Services, in an engrossing contest, finished at 187 for seven in 92 overs – 43 runs short of overhauling Andhra's first innings total of 229 at the end of the second day's play in the Ranji Plate Group ‘B' match at RDT ground here on Thursday. Andhra bowlers, who toiled hard throughout the day, failed to pack the tail-enders off with the second new ball by allowing Irfan Khan and Amrinder Singh to forge a 24-run partnership for the eighth wicket.
Watekar added agony to his team by dropping Amrinder in the slip-cordon off Kalyan Krishna in the dying moments of the game. The star of the day of Soumyaranjan Swain, who cracked a hundred on debut against Kerala last week at New Delhi. Swain, continued his good work by notching up 71 runs (185b, 278m, 8x4) and forged a 71-run partnership for the fourth wicket with skipper Yashpal Singh.
Swain and Yashpal batted with patience and milked the Andhra attack in a clinical manner. Between them, Yashpal (37 runs, 158m, 115b, 6x4) was more compact and showed the full face of the bat while driving through the gaps. Swain, with the natural grace of a southpaw, was elegant personified while executing the laid-back cut shots especially off Shahabuddin.
However, Kalyan Krishna in his 16th over ended the menacingly-poised partnership by luring Yashpal to play the quicker delivery. In the very next ball he packed more pace that saw the back of Vishnu Tiwari for a blob.
It was the part-time bowler Gnaneswara Rao, who took the prize-wicket of Swain, who was shaping well for a big knock. Swain poked at an out-going delivery to Manoj Sai behind the stumps.
The pre-lunch session saw Andhra pacers bowling their hearts out swinging the ball on both sides. It was Vijay Kumar who gave his team the early breath-through by removing the opener Sumit Singh with as sharp in-swinger in 14th over of the day.
In the 27th over, Jasvir Singh departed while flicking a fuller-length delivery to the square leg where Sumanth took a brilliant diving catch
Andhra – 1st innings: 229
Services 1st innings: Pratik Desai b Shahabuddin 0, Sumit Singh c Manoj Sai b P. Vijay Kumar 20, Jasvir Singh c B. Sumanth b Kalyan
Krishna 21, Soumyaranjan Swain c Manoj Sai b Gnaneswara Rao 71, Yashpal Singh c Manoj Sai b Kalyan Krishna 37, Vishnu Tiwari c Manoj Sai b Kalyan Krishna 0, Sarabjit Singh c A.G. Pradeep b Gnaneswara Rao 8, Irfan Khan (batting) 11, Amrinder Singh (batting) 8; Extras: (nb-3, b-6, lb-2): 11. Total (for seven wkts. in 92 overs):187
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-34, 3-58, 4-129, 5-129, 6-162, 7-163.
Andhra bowling: K.S. Shahabuddin 25-11-47-1, Kalyan Krishna 22-8-41-3, P. Vijay Kumar 26-4-55-1, G. Sankar Rao 9-1-19-0, Y, Gnaneswara Rao 8-4-8-2, H. Watekar 2-0-9-0 .