Andhra batsmen fired in unison to guide their team to 288 for three in reply to Kerala's first innings total of 486 at stumps on the penultimate day of their Group C Ranji Trophy match, here on Saturday.
Opener Srikar Bharat (62), Murumulla Sriram (82 batting) and Bodapati Sumanth (90) struck fine half-centuries against a listless Kerala bowling attack at the Conor Vayal Stadium, Tellicherry.
Sriram and Amol Muzumdar were at the crease with Andhra still needing 198 runs on the final day tomorrow to surpass Kerala's first innings total.
Starting the day at 42 for no loss, opener Prasanth Kumar could add only 12 runs to his overnight score before being run-out by Sandeep Warrier for 22.
Bharat too departed after completing his half-century, caught by Sanju Samson off Prasanth Parameswaran. Bharat's attacking 101-ball knock was laced with six fours and three sixes.
At 97 for two, Sumanth joined Sriram in the middle and both played patiently to deny Kerala bowlers any further success. The duo added 172 runs for the third-wicket partnership and, in the process, also completed their respective half-centuries.
Sumanth was unlucky to miss out on a well-deserved century by just 10 runs when he was caught by Rohan Prem off Chovvakkaran Shahid for 90. He struck 10 fours in his 216-ball stay at the crease.
Sriram's unbeaten 82 was studded with five fours.
Kerala 1st innings: 486 all out in 163 overs.
Andhra 1st innings: 288 for 3 in 105 overs (Bodapati Sumanth 90, Murumulla Sriram 82 batting; Prasanth Parameswaran 1/42).