Nagpur: Middle-order batsman Avneesh Sudha hit a patient 91 to guide Uttarakhand to a respectable 293 for six against reigning champions Vidarbha on day one of their Ranji Trophy 2018-19 quarter-final on Tuesday.

Put in to bat at the Vidarbha Cricket Association’s Stadium in Jamtha, Uttarakhand lost their skipper and opener Vineet Saxena (5) early after he was cleaned up by medium pacer Rajneesh Gurbani. (ALSO READ: Rajasthan bowled out for 224)

The visitors were in a spot of bother as they lost two more wickets in quick succession – Vaibhav Bhatt (5) and Karnaveer Kaushal (31) – and were reduced to 44 for 3.

But then Sudha, a right-handed batsman, along with Vaibhav Singh Panwar (67 off 128 balls) resurrected the visitors’ innings and steadied their ship.

The duo conjured a crucial 140-run stand for the fourth wicket to bail the side out of trouble and frustrate the Vidarbha bowlers. Sudha, in his 180-ball innings, struck 14 boundaries. (ALSO READ: Rinku Singh’s 150 pushes Uttar Pradesh to 340/7 versus Saurashtra)

The stand was broken when Panwar, who hit 12 boundaries in his knock, was dismissed when Uttarakhand were 184/4.

After Panwar’s departure, Saurabh Rawat (68 not out) joined Sudha as the two added 48 runs for the fifth wicket. But then Sudha missed a deserving hundred after being caught and bowled by off-spinner Akshay Wakhare.

At the close of play, Mayank Mishra (1 not out) was holding the fort with Rawat, who has struck eight fours and two other hits over the rope so far.

For the hosts, medium pacers Gurbani (2/72), Umesh Yadav (2/74) and spinner Wakhare (2/46) picked up two wickets each.

Brief scores: Uttarakhand 293/6 (Avneesh Sudha 91, Saurabh Rawat 68*, Vaibhav Panwar 67) versus Vidarbha