Ranji: Rohan, Saxena take Kerala to strong position vs Rajasthan
Thiruvananthapuram: A solid 164-run second wicket partnership by Jalaj Saxena and Rohan Prem guided Kerala to a strong position on the first day of their Ranji Trophy Group B encounter against Rajasthan at the St'Xavier's KCA Cricket Ground here on Tuesday.
Kerala reached 232-3 when stumps were drawn.
Kerala captain Sachin Baby won the toss and opted to bat on track that looked well for batting. However, Kerala suffered an early setback as Pankaj Singh sent back opener Vishnu Vinod (2) in the fourth ball of the first over.
Vishnu’s dismissal brought seasoned left-hander Rohan Prem to the crease. Patiently, the duo blocked Rajasthan bowling attack for more than 60 overs and forged a concrete partnership justifying their section to Board President’s XI squad for warm-up match against Sri Lanka next month.
Before Saxena fell for 79 (157 balls, 8x4, 2x6) in the 64th over, the two had together added 164 runs for the second wicket. Five overs later, Rohan too returned pavilion after making a fluent 86 off 237 balls (10x4).
Sanju V Samson (25) and Sachin Baby (38) were successful in sustaining Kerala’s upper hand as both ensured that the hosts ended the day without losing any more wicket. The two have stitched together an unbeaten 62-run for stand for the fourth wicket.
For Rajasthan, Pankaj Singh, Bishnoi Jr and Lomoror took one wicket apiece.
This is Kerala’s third match of the tournament. After beating Jharkhand in their first match, Kerala lost the next to Gujarat.