Visakhapatnam: Himachal Pradesh cricket team had to settle with lone point after conceding first inning lead to Andhra in the Ranji Trophy Group C match played at Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam.
Chasing an unlikely target of 345, Himachal lost a few wickets towards the end of the fourth and final day with medium pacer Gonnabattula Chiranjeevi instilling some excitement, claimed three wickets between the 33rd and 35th overs. Though Himachal batsmen managed to stick to the crease till the end of the match, but it conceded important points to Andhra team.
Earlier in the match, Andhra team managed to score daunting 417. Prasanth Kumar scored 199 and skipper Rishi Dhawan done well with ball and took 5 wickets for 125. In response to 417, Himachal batsmen managed to score 305, thanks to Nikhil Gangta fighting 115 and good show with bat from bowler Vikramjeet Malik, he made 83. Once Himachal team was struggling at 152 for 8 and Gangta and Malik put forth 152 run partnerships for ninth wicket.
Trailing by 112 runs, Himachal bowlers again failed to restrict Andhra batsmen as they managed to pile up 232 in 68 overs and lost only three wickets. Murumulla Sriram scored 101 and remained not out and Chiranjeevi and Prasanth scored half centuries. While chasing an unlikely target of 345 in less then 40 overs, Himachal openers again failed to put up a good show as Bali got out on 13. Team was than 16 in 3.3 overs. Opener Prashant Chopra and senior Paras Dogra played sensibly and led team’s score to 149 in 32 overs, before it lost four wickets in three over.
After getting lone point in last two matches, HP team, with 24 points from 7 matches, has lost its top place to J&K, who has 24 points from 6 matches, in the Group C. Maharashtra has 22 points from 6 matches.
Andhra: 417 (Prasanth Kumar 199, Murumulla Sriram 43; Rishi Dhawan 5/125) & 232 for three declare (Murumulla Sriram not out 101, GK Chiranjeevi 54, Prasanth 51).
Himachal Pradesh: 305 (Nikhil Gangta 115, Vikramjeet Malik 83) & 154 for five (Paras Dogra 64, Prashant Chopra 63).