Ranji Trophy: Our inexperience came to bite us, says Hyderabad's Anirudh
22-year-old Anirudh, who top scored for his side, reckoned that losing the top-order cheaply in the fourth innings turned out to be the turning point in the game. Hyderabad were 121 for seven, chasing 232 for victory.
Hyderabad were on the verge of causing a massive upset against Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals yesterday when overnight batsmen B Anirudh (84 not out) and CV Milind (6) added 64 runs in the morning session of the final day to narrow the 232-run target to 47. But thanks to Abhishek Nayar’s (5-40) heroics with the ball, Hyderabad found themselves 30 runs short in the end. The 22-year-old Anirudh, who top scored for his side, reckoned that losing the top-order cheaply in the fourth innings turned out to be the turning point in the game. Hyderabad were 121 for seven, chasing 232 for victory.
"In the first innings, we got early wickets and we did bat well too. But in the fourth innings, we lost wickets in clusters and Mumbai got the momentum. They are the current champs and have the experienced Nayar and Thakur (Shardul) in their ranks. Our inexperience came to bite us," the Chennai-born southpaw, who struck four boundaries and two sixes during his 187-ball knock, told mid-day over the phone yesterday.
Anirudh, a product of St John’s Cricket Foundation (Secunderabad), where former India cricketer VVS Laxman also trained in his younger days, was unable to weave his magic with the willow in the first innings. Hyderabad were bowled out for 280, giving Mumbai a vital 14-run lead.
"In the first innings, I scored four runs. I let the team down. If I had scored, we could have got a lead," he said.
However, Anirudh was happy his team gave the 41-time Ranji Trophy champions a good fight.
"We came from the Plate Group and gave Mumbai a good fight. They were nervous that they might lose. We should take pride in our performance and be confident ahead. We lost to a better side. Mumbai were under pressure, we had nothing to lose," he added. The defending champions now face Tamil Nadu in semis on New Year’s Day. "Tamil Nadu are not an easy side. It will be 50-50 game. It won’t be easy for Mumbai," Anirudh added.
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