Ranji: Haryana end first day at 206-8 vs Kerala
Rohtak: A fine comeback made by Kerala seamers saw hosts Haryana struggling at 206 at the loss of eight wickets on the first day of the Ranji Trophy Group B match at the Chaudhry Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium in Lahli here on Saturday.
On the Lahli track, which is considered to be a pacers’ paradise, Kerala rested spin duo Sijomon and Akshay KC and brought in C V Vinodkumar while Sanju donned wicketkeeper’s gloves after a while.
Haryana captain A R Mishra, who won the toss, opted batting and openers GA Singh and SG Rohilla justified skipper’s decision by adding 66 runs for the first wicket. In the 23rd over, Kerala’s go-to man Jalaj Saxena provide the breakthrough trapping G A Singh (40, 4x3, 6x2) in front of the wicket.
When 28 runs were added for the second wicket, Rohilla too retuned to pavilion (36, 4x4) caught by Sanju off Vinod Kumar. Two over later Haryana lost C K Bishnoi (14), who become the second victim of Vinod Kumar.
The hosts further slumped to 104-4 in 41st over when S R Chauhan (4) was caught by Salman Nizar off Sandeep Warrier. Rajat Paliwal and R P Sharma tied to hand on by adding 33 runs for the fifth wicket. In the 54th over, Sharma (13) fell leg before wicket to M D Nidheesh. Twelve overs later, Warrier picked his second wicket as H V Patel (8) was caught by Sanju when the team score reached 157.
Paliwal forged a 48-run stand for the seventh wicket in company of P B Mehta. In the 80th over of the day, Paliwal, who made a patient 45 off 139 runs hitting just three boundaries, was dismissed by Basil Thampi. In the first ball of next over Mehta (1) too fell to Sandeep Warrier and Haryana ended the day at 206-8.
Among Kerala bowlers, Sandeep Warrier picked 3-50. While Vinod Kumar bagged 2-39, Nidheesh, Basil and Saxena claimed one each. Sanju too enjoyed a fine day behind the stumps assisting in four dismissals.
For Kerala, the result of this last group match is crucial as it will decide their entry to the knockouts. While Kerala are sitting at second position in the table with 24 points from 5 matches in Group B behind Gujarat, Haryana have just 9 points from as many matches.