Defending champions Madhya Pradesh bounced back in contention on the third day of their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal against Andhra on Thursday, even as injured visiting skipper Hanuma Vihari batted one handed for the second time in succession. Set a winning target of 245, MP ended day three at 58 for no loss after bundling out their opponents for 93 in their second innings, courtesy Avesh Khan‘s four wicket haul. Vihari, like in the first innings when he returned to bat left-handed, braving a wrist injury, batted left-handed to score 15 coming in at No.11.
He swatted three fours, including an insane reverse sweep but could not do much as the team collapsed to 93 all out in 32.3 overs.
“Do it for the team. Do it for the bunch. Never give up!! Thank you everyone for your wishes. Means a lot!,” Vihari had tweeted on the second day.
Earlier, resuming at the overnight score of 144 for 4, MP were bowled out for 228 with left-arm medium-pacer Prithvi Raj Yarra picking up five wickets.
Prithvi Raj added the scalps of Harsh Gawli (1), Saransh Jain (8), Avesh Khan (15) and Kumar Kartikeya (24, 4 fours) to finish with superb figures of 5 for 26.
The home team looked in danger of being dismissed below 200 before Kartikeya and Avesh stitched a 48-run stand for the ninth wicket to stretch the score to 228.
With a big lead of 151, Andhra was expected to bat well in the second innings to put MP out of contention. However, the MP bowlers ran through the visiting team’s batting unit in just 32.3 overs.
Avesh, bowling with a lot of fire and a big heart, set the tone by removing opener C R Gnaneshwar (1) in the second over, having him caught by Yash Dubey.
Fellow opening batter Abhishek Reddy (1) fell in the fourth over, trapped LBW.
A 37-run stand for the third wicket between Nitish Kumar Reddy (14) and Ashwin Hebbar (35, 65 balls, 4x4s, 1×6) followed.
Once Gaurav Yadav (3/10) removed Nitish and Kumar Kartikeya (2/41) got the key wicket of Ricky Bhui (1), the centurion in the first innings, things went downhill for Andhra.
The MP bowlers kept picking up wickets at regular intervals and the Andhra innings ended at 93.
Set a target of 245, the home team was 58 for no loss in 16 overs, requiring 187 more to advance to the semifinals.
Opening batters Yash Dubey (24 batting) and Himanshu Mantri (31 batting) got off to a solid start as MP looked to cap a splendid comeback, engineered by Avesh & Co.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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