Laxman leads from the front

Hyderabad: VVS Laxman led from the front with a fine unbeaten 70 as Hyderabad recovered from disastrous start to reach 159 for two on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy Group A match against Madhya Pradesh here on Saturday.

Hyderabad ended the day at 159 for two as only 54 overs could be bowled due to bad light after Hyderabad opted to bat Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at Uppal.

Laxman and Hanuma Vihari were batting on 70 and 76 respectively, having shared 137 runs for the unbroken third wicket after Hyderabad were reduced to 22 for two in just 10 overs.

The home side lost openers Akshath Reddy and Ravi Teja at identical individual scores of two each. Teja was the first to go in the third over of the bowling of Ishwar Pandey while Reddy departed in the 10th over of the bowling of Anand Rajan.

Laxman struck eight fours and a six from the 119-balls he has faced so far. Vihari was much more sedate than Laxman as he consumed 176 deliveries for his 76 not out. He has hit seven fours so far in his knock.

In Jaipur, twin centuries from Vineet Saxena (114) and captain Hrishikesh Kanitkar (119) guided Rajasthan to 269 for two against Mumbai.

Saxena and Kanitkar forged a massive 220-run partnership for the second wicket to put Rajasthan in a commanding position after Mumbai won the toss and asked the hosts to take first strike at KL Saini Ground.

Saxena cracked as many as 15 fours and one six in his 301-ball unbeaten innings, while Kanitkar took 192 balls for his century which was laced with 17 boundaries. At the draw of stumps, Robin Bist (14) was giving company to Saxena.

For Mumbai, Kshemal Waingankar and Ankeet Chavan took one wicket each. Earlier, Rajasthan did not have a good start as they lost Ankit Lamba (9) only in the second over, courtesy Waingankar, who had the opener caught by skipper Rohit Sharma.

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