Ranji: Jalaj Saxena gives Kerala the upper hand vs Jharkhand
Thiruvananthapuram: Right arm spinner Jalaj Saxena’s six wicket haul gave Kerala the upper hand on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy Group B match against Jharkhand at the Greenfield stadium here on Friday.
Rattled by Saxena’s 6-50, Jharkhand ended the day at 200 at the loss of nine wickets.
Jharkhand skipper and India seamer Varun Aaron, who won the crucial toss, was confident to choose batting at the Greenfield stadium, which is hosting its first Ranji encounter.
In the third over, the visitors lost their opener Babul Kumar for a duck as he was caught by wicketkeeper Mohammed Azharuddeen off quickie Sandeep Warrier. By then, just 5 runs were added to the scoreboard. Then Jalaj Saxena wreak havoc destroying the middle order and Jharkhand slumped to 100-5 in 32.2 overs. Jalaj claimed the scalps of Siddiqui (24), Virat Singh (15), Saurabh Tiwary (22) and Ishank Jaggi (0).
Wicketkeeper batsman Ishan Kishan showed some resistance making a patient 45 off 100 balls before caught by Sanju V Samon off KS Monish. Jalaj returned to took two more wickets -- Kaushal Singh (24) and Ashish Kumar (25). In between, Akshay Chandran forced Varun Aaron (7) out of the crease and had him stumped by Azharuddeen.
At stumps, Sunny Gupta (23) Samar Quadri (1) are at the crease.