Hyderabad: Skipper FY Fazal (126 batting; 209 balls, 15×4, 3×6) struck a fine century to steady Vidarbha’s ship against Hyderabad on the second day of the four day Group A & B Ranji Trophy league match at Rajiv Gandhi International, Uppal, on Thursday. Replying to Hyderabad’s 272 in 94.5 overs, the visitors made 242 for 4 in 75 overs at draw of stumps and trail by 30 runs with six wickets in hand.
The morning’s play was centered around debutant Prateek Reddy, who had rescued the home side with an eye-catching 76 on Wednesday. The left-hander, however, could add only seven runs before falling to AS Thakare for 83 (181 balls, 9×4). He edged to wicketkeeper AV Wadkar to miss the century narrowly in his debut match.
The impressive Thakare gave Vidarbha the early breakthrough when he removed Mehdi Hasan in the day’s third over for a stubborn 30. Hasan and Prateek were involved in a crucial stand of 91 runs for the eighth wicket. Mohd Siraj resisted the Vidarbha attack and he added valuable runs with a 14-ball 22 (4×4, 1×6) to boost Hyderabad to a fighting total. Thakare terminated the Hyderabad innings by sending back Siraj.
Hyderabad began splendidly as the tall Ravi Kiran struck in the fourth and eighth overs. The medium pacer first trapped AV Kolhar in front and then had AD Choudhari caught behind. Hyderabad’s joy was short-lived as Vidarbha’s two experienced batsmen Fazal and Ganesh Satish (65; 153 balls, 9×4, 1×6) batted steadily and confidently to snatch the initiative from Hyderabad with a 124-run for the third wicket. Fazal was a picture of confidence as he cut and drove the ball with panache. He reached his half century off 79 balls while Satish took 116 balls for his 50.
Debutant left-arm spinner Aniketh Reddy, who came late into the attack, gave Hyderabad the breakthrough by scalping the wicket of Satish (caught behind). The left-handed Fazal continued his good show with the willow and cruised to a fine century against the ordinary Hyderabad attack. In between, SK Wath made 28 before Siraj cut short his innings.
The Hyderabad toiled hard but Fazal was rock solid in the middle to help Vidarbha steal the second day’s honours. Siraj was expensive as he leaked 70 runs from his 17 overs but in contrast Ravi Kiran, who bowled with a lot of discipline, returned with figures of 13-6-19-2. In his debut Ranji match, Aniketh bowled a decent spell for his lone wicket in 15 overs.