Cricket

Madhya Pradesh Vs Andhra, Ranji Trophy 2024 Quarter-Final: Hanuma Vihari Resolute As AP Chase 170-Run Target - Day 3 Report

At the close of play on Day 3 in Indore, Andhra were 95/4 with Hanuma Vihari unbeaten on 43. In the low-scoring Ranji Trophy quarter-final match, Madhya Pradesh scored 234 and 107, while Andhra posted 172 in their first innings

File
Hanuma Vihari, with 16 Test matches under his belt, is one of the probably the most experienced in Andhra ranks. Photo: File
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The Ranji Trophy quarterfinal match between Madhya Pradesh and Andhra was evenly poised at stumps on the third day in Indore on Sunday, with both the teams having an equal opportunity to win the game and make it to the final four. (More Cricket News)

A contest in which the bowlers have dominated from the word go, Andhra were placed precariously at 95/4 and requiring another 75 runs to win with two days left, while the task for the hosts Madhya Pradesh at the Holkar Stadium would be to take the remaining six wickets.

But Andhra would feel confident going into the fourth day knowing that India batter Hanuma Vihari had dropped anchor to reach 43 not out from 109 balls with four boundaries.

Vihari's experience would be required for Andhra to get over the line especially when skipper and the leading run-scorer this season, Ricky Bhui (9), was dismissed cheaply for the second time in the game.

It all expedited with Madhya Pradesh being shot out for just 107 in their second innings in a little over 40 overs, with Nithish Kumar Reddy returning 10-2-28-4 and the others in KV Sasikanth and Lalith Mohan claiming three wickets apiece.

For Madhya Pradesh, wicketkeeper-batter Himanshu Mantri once again provided a crucial contribution scoring 43 from 107 balls with six hits to the fence as none of the other batters could make a dent.

Madhya Pradesh, who had taken a lead of 62 runs in the first innings and had resumed the third day's play at 21 for no loss, rolled over without any fight in the second innings which handed the advantage to the visiting side.

But Andhra were themselves guilty of being tentative with the bat in a chase of 170, losing their openers cheaply before the pair of Nithish and Vihari got together to settle the nerves.

Having taken a fine three-wicket haul in the first innings, Anubhav Agarwal was once again back to haunt the Andhra batters as he accounted for Revanth Reddy (9) and Nithish (20), while Kumar Kartikeya removed Prashant Kumar from the equation for six.

Saransh Jain produced a measly spell of 7-2-7-1 while accounting for the dangerous Bhui to keep the hopes high for his side heading into what should be the final day of this quarterfinal clash.

The tension in the Andhra camp was palpable with the fact that they took as many as 44 hours to get to 95/4.

At stumps, Vihari was holding on to one end with Karan Shinde unbeaten on five at the other end.

Brief scores: Madhya Pradesh 234 and 107 in 40.5 overs (Himanshu Mantri 43; Nithish Kumar Reddy 4/28, Lalith Mohan 3/20, KV Sasikanth 3/20) lead Andhra 172 and 95/4 in 44 overs (Hanuma Vihari 43*; Anubhav Agarwal 2/22) by 75 runs.

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