Ranji Trophy: Kerala leads Bengal by 139 runs
Kolkata: All-rounder Jalaj Saxsena continued his stunning form scoring another century to give Kerala first innings lead of 144 runs against West Bengal in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group B encounter here on Wednesday.
Visitors Kerala scored 291 after bundling out the hosts Bengal for just 147. At the end of day two, Bengal trail Kerala by 139 runs having lost opener Koushik Ghosh (1). He was caught by Sanju Samson in the second over from Sandeep Warrier. Abhishek Kumar Raman is at the crease for Bengal.
After winning the toss, Kerala opted to bowl and wrapped up the home side's first innings in 147 runs. Five Bengal batsmen failed to open their account as the visiting bowlers came all guns blazing. Kerala pacers Basil Thampi and MD Nidheesh picked four and three wickets respectively. Only Anustup Majumdar (53) and Abhishek Kumar Raman (40) made respectable contributions to the West Bengal innings.
In reply, Jalaj Saxsena scored 143 from 190 deliveries. Sanju Samson (0) disappointed yet again. Salman Nissar (5) went back to the pavilion in a hurry with Rohan Prem (18) Sachin Baby (23) and V A Jagadeesh (39) trying to build a partnership with Saxsena. In all six Kerala batsmen returned to the pavilion with single digits.
Kerala had resumed its innings at 35/1 having lost Arun Karthik (1) on the first day. Ishan Perol and Indian pacer Mohammed Shami caused havoc in the Kerala batting line-up claiming four and three wickets respectively. Ashoke Dinda took two wickets.
With seven points from two matches, Kerala stands third in the Elite Group A and B. Saurashtra and Gujarat are on first and second places with nine points each.