February 23, 2024

Ranji Trophy | Sachin Baby and Akshay Chandran rescue Kerala | BetaVersa

2 min read

Celebrating in style: Sachin Baby is absolutely delighted after reaching his century.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Bengal captain Manoj Tiwary couldn’t hide his disappointment after Sanju Samson won the toss for the first time this season. There was a cry of anguish from Tiwary as Kerala opted to bat in the Ranji Trophy match at the St. Xavier’s College ground here on Friday.

There was bounce and slow turn for the spinners on the first day, but another obdurate century by the reliable Sachin Baby (110 batting) and his unbroken 153-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Akshay Chandran (76 batting) carried Kerala to a comfortable 265 for four at stumps on the first day.

Kerala was 112 for four when Akshay joined Baby soon after lunch. Shahbaz Ahmed had just found the outside edge of skipper Samon’s (8) bat with Tiwary completing a neat catch at first slip. Sanju never looked comfortable during his stay.

Akshay played fluently and didn’t waste his good start unlike some of his fellow batters. When he gets going, Akshay is one of the most stylist batters in the team. He played upright and drove with aplomb through the covers, swept and used his feet against the spinners.

Akshay got into his groove early with a couple of neatly driven boundaries off Akash Deep, who was the stand out bowler for Bengal.

At the other end, Baby played risk-free cricket to accumulate runs. The Bengal bowling became a bit erratic after tea and Baby cashed on to the loose offerings. He lofted Ankit Mishra over the long-on boundary for a six and then tucked the ball behind square to complete his third hundred of the season.

Earlier, in the morning, Rohan Kunnummal (19) and Jalaj Saxena (40) gave Kerala one of its better starts of the season. Rohan, after smashing a few boundaries, slashed at a wide delivery from Suraj Sindhu Jaiswal and was snapped up by Tiwary at first slip.

Rohan Prem (3) failed again as Kerala slipped to 40 for two. Jalaj and Baby added 42 for the third wicket, but the former wasted a good start and feathered a catch to wicketkeeper Abhishek Porel off Mishra.

The scores:

Kerala — 1st innings: Rohan S. Kunnummal c Manoj b Jaiswal 19, Jalaj Saxena c Abhishek b Mishra 40, Rohan Prem c Abhishek b Akash Deep 3, Sachin Baby batting 110, Sanju Samson c Manoj b Shahbaz 8, Akshay Chandran batting 76; Extras (b-4, lb-3, w-1, nb-1): 9; Total (for four wkts. in 90 over): 265.

Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-40, 3-82, 4-112

Bengal bowling: Jaiswal 15-3-40-1, Akash Deep 18-5-55-1, Mishra 23-3-53-1, Shahbaz 18-1-59-1, Karan 13-1-35-0, Kharia 3-0-16-0.

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