Bengal pacers put Andhra on the back foot on the third day of their Ranji Trophy Group A match at the Eden, on Friday. At the end of day’s play, Andhra, led by Hanuma Vihari, were struggling at 110/7 in their first innings and they still need 30 more runs to avoid the follow-on.
Overall, they are still 179-run behind Bengal’s first innings total of 289. The hosts are almost sure to bag at least three points from the match.
Bengal pacer Ishan Porel was the best of the lot as he picked up three wickets giving away 35 runs. Ishan put the Andhra batsmen under pressure right from the word go. But it was Mukesh Kumar who drew the first blood for Bengal. Andhra opener Prasanth Kumar didn’t read Mukesh’s in-cutter and was trapped leg before.
Ishan continued to keep up the pressure on the opposition, a mix of incoming and outgoing deliveries leaving the batsmen in doubt. Andhra batsmen CR Gnaneshwar and Vihari were living dangerously on yet another overcast day.
At the lunch, Andhra were 25/1 after 11 overs. Due to a wet outfield, the match started an hour and forty-five minutes late from the schedule start time of 8.45 am.
Ishan’s hard work finally paid off when he dismissed Vihari in the 17th over. Ishan’s outswinger kissed Vihari’s bat and Manoj Tiwary took the catch at second slip.
Off the very next ball, Ishan got the wicket of an in-form Ricky Bhui The young pacer also got the wicket of Srikar Bharat. Debutant Bengal pacer Akash Deep too was impressive. He picked up the wicket of Karan Shinde.
Due to bad light, only 46 overs of play was possible on the third day and the match will start 15 minutes before time on the fourth and final day.