Ahead of their Group C Ranji Trophy 2016-17 match against Jammu & Kashmir, Hyderabad captain S Badrinath spoke about how the grass on the Vadodara pitch would help his side given their in-form pace attack.
On Wednesday (November 30), their young pacers, led by Ravi Kiran (4 for 31) lived up to their captain’s expectations, leaving J&K fighting to avoid a follow-on at 156 for 7, trailing by 172 runs with tailenders Samiullah Beigh (28) and Ram Dayal (7) in the middle at stumps on the second day.
Hyderabad themselves collapsed from 260 for 3 to 328 all out in the first half of the day, but their bowlers put them back on track in a game that could seal their knockout berth.
J&K had massive momentum at the innings break, having fought back so impressively after a tough first day. Their batsmen, though, couldn’t capitalise and succumbed to relentless pressure from Hyderabad’s pacers in helpful conditions.
The only batsman to offer fight was Parveez Rasool, who quickly adopted an attacking approach to counter the bowlers and conditions. That he made 70 off his team’s 156 runs says everything about their abject display. Exactly 50 of Rasool’s 70 runs came through boundaries.
The tone was set as early as the fourth ball of the innings, when Ahmed Bandy pushed at a wide one from Ravi Kiran to edge to the slip cordon without scoring. Shubham Khajuria, Bandy’s opening partner and J&K’s highest scorer this season, soon made the ill-judged error of shouldering arms to an inswinger from Kiran, only to find the ball clipping his off stump.
Pranav Gupta, the No. 3, joined the procession three overs later, falling caught behind off Chama Milind, although he wasn’t too happy with the decision. At 15 for 3, much depended on Ian Dev Singh, the most experienced player in the J&K side and the only other batsman with more than 600 runs to his name this season. He began confidently with a couple of boundaries, but was bowled off Mohammad Siraj’s third ball after missing a straight ball.
The only way to go from there was attack. Rasool led the charge with a flurry of boundaries, driving Kiran confidently and also stepping out to slam Mehdi Hasan’s left-arm spin over the sightscreen.
The captain stitched together a 59-run stand for the fifth wicket with Aditya Singh, but Kiran struck again after tea before it became threatening, forcing Aditya to edge to the wicketkeeper.
Rasool carried on, racing past his half-century off 56 balls with a pull to the deep square-leg fence but kept losing partners. Puneet Bisht flicked Kiran to square-leg to give the pacer his fourth wicket. Rasool too followed soon, steering Akash Bhandari’s legspin straight to slip after a lone battle. Beigh then threw his bat around to take J&K to stumps without further damage.
Earlier, it was Hyderabad’s turn to let go of a strong position. Resuming at 234 for 3, Tanmay Agarwal and B Sandeep negotiated the first hour before they lost four wickets in four overs of madness that derailed their innings.
The sudden momentum-shift was led by Beigh, who produced an extended and brilliant spell of 10-5-8-2 to bring J&K back. He first had Sandeep caught at second slip before going through the defence of Sumanth Kolla for nought. At the other end, Suhail Andleeb nipped out the prize scalp of Agarwal, who poked an edge to the wicketkeeper, before having Mehdi Hasan in the same fashion.
Before anyone could realise, Hyderabad lost four wickets for six runs but they still had a bit of batting to come. Milind and Akash Bhandari arrested the slide somewhat with a 49-run stand for the eighth wicket but the innings fell apart soon after lunch, with Rasool picking two more wickets to finish with impressive figures of 4 for 63.
He then had to do it all once again with the bat, with little support from his colleagues.