SPORT

Hyderabad survives middle-order blues

WRECKER-IN-CHIEF:Raushan Raj of Services celebrates one of his four wickets against Hyderabad.— Photo: PTI

WRECKER-IN-CHIEF:Raushan Raj of Services celebrates one of his four wickets against Hyderabad.— Photo: PTI  

Hyderabad fought back despite some middle-order blues to post a challenging 303 for seven against Services at close of play on the first day of their four-day Ranji Trophy Group C match at the Bandra Kurla Sports Complex here on Sunday.

Put in, Hyderabad suffered the first blow in the 17th over when Benjamin Thomas (14) was sent back by left-arm spinner Vikas Yadav — the third consecutive failure by the batsman in the first three innings of his Ranji career.

Then, a fine 105-run stand between opener Akshath Reddy, who rediscovered his form to come up with a very significant contribution (64, 134b, 9x4), and the in-form B. Anirudh (49, 94b, 7x4, 1x6) for the second wicket put the innings back on track.

But once medium-pacer Raushan Raj got rid of Akshath there was a collapse of sorts as Hyderabad lost four wickets in the space of five runs. Raushan bowled well and at one stage his figures read an impressive 12-5-27-4 and Hyderabad was reeling at 141 for six in 50.4 overs. That was also the phase when Hyderabad captain S. Badrinath was involved in a mix-up to be run out for a duck. Later, another fighting stand of 135 for the seventh wicket between two left-handers — Bavanaka Sandeep (83 batting, 129b, 11x4) and Mehdi Hasan (61, 88b, 11 x 4) — dashed Services’ of hopes of restricting Hyderabad to a modest score. Sandeep looked good enough for his second century of the season.

It was another run-out — that of the free-stroking Mehdi Hasan — that provided some cheer for Services in the final session which was dominated by Hyderabad.

The scores:

Hyderabad — 1st innings: Benjamin Thomas c Aanshul b Vikas Yadav 14, Akshath Reddy c Nakul b Raushan Raj 64, B. Anirudh lbw b Raushan Raj 49, S. Badrinath run out 0, Bavanaka Sandeep (batting) 83, Kolla Sumanth c Nakul b Raushan Raj 0, Akash Bhandari c Aanshul b Raushan Raj 4, Mehdi Hasan run out 61, Chama Milind (batting) 14; Extras (b-1, lb-4, w-6, nb-3): 14; Total (for seven in 89 overs): 303.

Fall of wickets: 1-31, 2-136, 3-137, 4-137, 5-137, 6-141, 7-276.

Services bowling: Diwesh Pathania 24-0-47-0, Raushan Raj 17-5-52-4, Raj Bahadur Pal 14-1-58-0, Azaruddin Bloch 12-2-51-0, Vikas Yadav 16-0-70-1, Aanshul Gupta 5-1-10-0, Rahul Singh 1-0-10-0.

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