Ranji Trophy 2018-19, Group B, Day 1: Bhui bails Andhra out of trouble despite Bhati five

Subodh Bhati produced a riveting spell of bowling en-route to his maiden First-Class five-wicket haul against Andhra. But Ricky Bhui stood like a rock between the fast bowler and his team, with his unbeaten 150 taking Andhra to 266 for 7 at stumps against Delhi in a Group B fixture of Round 5 of the 2018-Ranji Trophy at the Feroz Shah Kotla. It was a total that looked highly unlikely had it not been for Bhui’s seventh FC century.

Playing his fourth FC game, Bhati finished with 5 for 35, with his first wicket arriving off just the fourth delivery of the match as opening batsmen Prasanth Kumar edging the 28-year-old behind. It took Bhati four more deliveries to get his second as he had Sai Krishan out LBW for the second duck of the innings. Bhui and Srikar Bharat added 29 runs before Bhati bagged a third. Vikash Mishra picked up just one wicket but his dismissal left Andhra in dire straits at 48 for 4.

Bhui and the lower order then bailed Andhra out of trouble. He combined with Girinath Reddy, Charan Singh and Karn Sharma to add vital runs and revive the innings. For the fifth, sixth and seven wickets respectively, Andhra added 74, 66 and 77 runs.

With able support from the lower order, Bhui batted positively and brought up his third century in the previous four Ranji Trophy games. His unbeaten 150 currently comprises 19 boundaries and a six. Bhati ended two of the three lower-order stands with Charan Singh and Reddy departing while edging behind.

Brief Scores: Andhra 266 for 7 (Ricky Bhui 150*, Karn Sharma 31; Subodh Bhati 5 for 35) against Delhi.