Sport

Prateek and Mehdi keep bowlers at bay

Dream debut: Prateek showed admirable temperament and stroke selection to repose the faith the selectors had in him.

Dream debut: Prateek showed admirable temperament and stroke selection to repose the faith the selectors had in him.  

It was, however, another dismal performance from the Hyderabad top order against Vidarbha

Debutant Prateek Reddy showed the desired discipline in batting in the company of a defiant Mehdi Hasan to string together an unbroken 88-run partnership for the eighth wicket which helped Hyderabad score 239 for seven against Vidarbha at close of play on the first day of the four-day Ranji Trophy Elite Group match at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Wednesday.

Put in to bat, it was another dismal performance at the top with seasoned openers P. Akshath Reddy and captain Tanmay Agarwal falling to the teasing off-stump line of pacemen Rajneesh Gurbani and Yash Thakur.

Gamble worth taking?

Surprisingly, when the two left-handers Buddhi Rahul, playing his second Ranji game, and all-rounder T. Ravi Teja, who was promoted up the order, were batting during their 80-run stand for the third wicket, there were serious doubts whether Vidarbha’s gamble was worth taking.

For, there was nothing in the pitch which suggested anything unplayable and it had become lot easier as the day progressed.

But, to the credit of Vidarbha bowlers, they came back strongly to break the third wicket partnership between Rahul (52, 82b, 9x4) and Ravi Teja (44, 62b, 5x4, 2x6).

Gurbani produced a beauty to clean up the in-form Kolla Sumanth as the ball swung late to beat the batsman completely and uproot the stumps. At the other end, Thakur left Chama Milind clueless as he stretched forward only to see his middle-stump knocked-out.

Sensible batting

It looked like it would be another familiar script in batting, before southpaw Prateek was joined by another left-hander, Mehdi, at 151 for seven. The two batted sensibly to keep the Vidarbha bowlers at bay for the rest of the day.

Though slow to start with, Prateek showed admirable temperament and stroke selection. He clearly reposed the faith the selectors had in him following his impressive run in the Col.C.K. Nayudu Trophy tournament with an innings of character and composure under pressure.

A knock which was even applauded by former India captain and HCA president Mohd Azharuddin among others.

Importantly for Hyderabad, Prateek and Mehdi stayed there till the end of day’s play, raising hopes of a much bigger total which looked doubtful at one stage.

For Vidarbha, Thakur and Gurbani were the main wicket-takers, bowling their heart out in not-so-helpful conditions once the early morning moisture had evaporated.

The scores: Hyderabad — 1st innings: Tanmay Agarwal c Fazal b Thakur 5, Akshath Reddy c Wadkar b Gurbani 6, Buddhi Rahul c Wadkar b Gurbani 52, T. Ravi Teja c Wadkar b Thakur 44, Prateek Reddy batting 76, K. Sumanth b Gurbani 1, Chama Milind b Thakur 4, G. Aniketh Reddy c Wadkar b Thakur 4, Mehdi Hasan batting 27; Extras (nb-3, w-2, b-3, lb-12): 20; Total (for seven wkts in 86 overs): 239.

Fall of wickets: 1-17, 2-17, 3-97, 4-130, 5-136, 6-141, 7-151.

Vidarbha bowling: Gurbani 22-7-48-3, Thakare 18-6-48-0, Thakur 21-6-44-4, Wakhare 13-1-43-0, Sarvate 8-1-32-0, Choudhari 4-0-9-0.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 12:35:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/prateek-and-mehdi-keep-bowlers-at-bay/article30802859.ece

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