Ranji Trophy: Andhra fight to avoid follow-on after Porel bags three | Cricket News

KOLKATA: Bengal speedster Ishan Porel blew away the Andhra middle-order with his triple strike as Andhra were reduced to 110 for 7 on the third day of the Ranji Trophy Group A encounter.

Only 46 overs of play was possible on the day which has effectively robbed Bengal a chance to get an outright win with a day left.

Bengal were all-out for 289 in their first innings and Andhra need to score another 30 to avoid follow-on.

On a breezy winter morning, Andhra had their backs to the wall with Porel dismissing skipper Hanuma Vihari (23) and in-form Ricky Bhui (0) off successive deliveries to finish the day with figures of 3 for 35.

Porel’s new ball pace partner Mukesh Kumar accounted for 2 for 36 but Andhra rode on Gnaneshwar’s dogged 45 not out off 145 balls to see through the day.

The start was delayed by one hour and 45 minutes because of the wet outfield as the four-pronged Bengal pace attack used the conditions to their advantage.

Spearheading the Bengal attack in the absence of Ashok Dinda, who was axed for misconduct, the lanky 21-year-old Porel looked in good rhythm during the second session when he grabbed three wickets in three overs and was in-line for a hat-trick.

Mukesh gave the first breakthrough in the fourth over when he dismissed DB Prasanth lbw for a duck as Gnaneshwar and the skipper Vihari were looking to steady the innings.

But Porel bowled an unplayable rising delivery which had Vihari all squared-up to edge it to second slip where Manoj Tiwary did the needful to break the partnership for 39.

Fresh from his back-to-back centuries, Bhui, who originally hails from Jhargram in Bengal, was out plumb in-front for a golden duck making a forgettable exit in front of his folks.

Looking unstoppable, Porel grabbed a third when he dismissed wicketkeeper batsman KS Bharat (two) en route to cap a fine first spell of 12-4-24-3 as Andhra were left reeling at 51 for four.

“The ball was moving both ways and I was enjoying my good form and rhythm. We all are young so there was a lot of positivity and we bowled our hearts out,” Porel said.

“However I could have bowled well in the last spell. I tried to bowl pace and was off the mark.”

Porel further said it was unfortunate not to have his role model Dinda and he missed his guidance.

“He’s my role model. He’s a seasoned campaigner with more than 400 first class… The way he guides you through from mid-on and mid-off has always been helpful.”

At tea, reeling at 96 for seven, Andhra were lucky to survive when B Ayyappa survived on duck after he got out to B Amit’s no-ball as he remained unbeaten on five in an unbroken eighth wicket partnership of 23 runs.

Ayyappa was drafted into the XI in place of original team member G Manish as a special inclusion as the left-arm spinner suffered a shoulder dislocation and it needed Bengal skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran’s permission to ring in a change.

Brief Scores

Bengal 1st Innings 289. Andhra 110/7 in 46 overs (CR Gnaneshwar 45 batting; Ishan Porel 3/35, Mukesh Kumar 2/36).

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