Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Ambati Rayudu’s efforts in vain for Hyderabad
CHANDIGARH: A pedestrian bowling effort, dropped catches and misfielding rubbed salt to Hyderabad’s wounds as they lost a last-ball thriller to the Railways by four wickets in the second match of their Group C encounter of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at the Sector-26 Ground here on Saturday.
Ambati Rayudu would have been a relieved man after smashing a 51-ball 77 to propel Hyderabad to a healthy 183 for 3 after being put in to bat on a track that turned into a batting paradise as the day progressed.
Rayudu, who lost fellow opener Tanmay Agarwal (2) early into the innings, preferred not to look back and resurrected Hyderabad’s ship with a brief 39-run second wicket stand with Akshath Reddy, who slammed 21 off 18 balls, laced with two fours and a six.
Reduced to 42 for 2, the 34-year-old Rayudu shouldered the responsibility and collaborated with new man Sandeep Bavanaka to forge together a 124-run third wicket stand that gave the Hyderabad bowlers some cushion in the second innings.
Rayudu, who struck five boundaries and four sixes, was dismissed on the penultimate over of the innings with Hyderabad comfortably placed at 166. Sandeep, who matched stroke by stroke to his captain, provided the much-needed acceleration with a brilliant unbeaten 74 off 43 balls, comprising three hits to the fence and five over it.
In response, the Railways were up to a decent 46-run start before left-arm spinner Mehdi Hasan made up for his dropped catch with the wickets of opener Mrunal Devdhar (20 off 16 balls; 4X3) and new man Gandhar Bhatawadekar for a duck, off consecutive deliveries.
However, the other opener Pratham Singh looked in good touch during his brief 30-ball 35, inclusive of four boundaries and a six, but it was the late push from Mohammed Ahmed, captain Karn Sharma and Pradeep Thippeswamy that helped the Railways cross the line on the final delivery.
While Mohammed remained unbeaten on a 29-ball 40, laced with three fours and a couple of sixes, Karn played a handy 18-ball 26, comprising a couple of boundaries and a six. But it was Pradeep’s 12-ball 35, including a couple of boundaries and three massive sixes out of the park, that caught the Hyderabad side napping in the final stages of the match.