It has been six long years since Sagun Kamat scored a first class hundred. But his wait ended with a century against Kerala in the Ranji Trophy match at the Perinthalamanna Cricket Ground on Saturday.
The Goan opener showed plenty of skills and temperament as he played a neatly paced innings to help the visiting side reach 281 for four when the play was called off due to bad light, with five overs remaining on day one of this Group C encounter.
Kamat (107, 212b, 307min, 13x4, 1x6) wasn’t the only batsman to make good use of a nice to track to bat on, as Manvinder Bisla, who helped Kolkata Knight Riders win the IPL final against Chennai Super Kings earlier this year with a brilliant onslaught, too frustrated the Kerala bowlers. The duo put on 146 for the third wicket.
Wicket-keeper Bisla scored 74 off just 87 balls (7x4, 1x6) to unsettle the Kerala bowlers, who were hoping for more after claiming two wickets early in the morning. The Goans, who chose to bat skipper Shadab Jakati won the toss, had lost IPL star Swapnil Asnodkar (17) Amogh Desai (15) to some clever seam bowling.
Sandeep Warrier, who made a promising debut, and P.U. Anthaf, who has done not much wrong after returning to the squad this season, picked up a wicket each to put Goa on to the back foot. Bisla and Kamat stepped up the tempo in the post-lunch session, during which they added 118 in 26 overs.
Bisla, however, fell in the first over after tea, to debutant left-arm spinner C.P. Shahid and a little later Kamat’s patient innings also came to an end, at the hands of part-time off-spinner Rohan Prem. But Ravikant Shukla (44 batting) ensured that Goa would go to bed in happier frame of mind than Kerala on Saturday.
Kamat admitted he was relieved to get a hundred, his first in Ranji Trophy since making 130 against Railways at New Delhi in 2006. “It was frustrating to get out after scoring several fifties,” he said. “It was not easy to bat early on, as the Kerala seamers were bowling well and there was dampness in the wicket.”
Goa – 1st Innings: Sagun Kamat c Robert Fernandez b Rohan 107, Swapnil Asnodkar c Robert b Sandeep 6, Amogh Desai c Akshay b Anthaf 15, Manvinder Bisla b Shahid 74, Ravikant Shukla (batting) 44, Reagan Pinto (batting) 15, Extras (b-5, lb-9, nb-1, w-5): 20; Total (for four wkts. in 85 overs): 281.
Fall of wickets: 1-17, 2-55, 3-201, 4-241.
Kerala bowling: Sony Cheruvathur 12-3-44-0, Sandeep Warrier 13-3-39-1, P.U. Anthaf 14-2-53-1, C.P. Shahid 27-4-92-1, Robert Fernandez 20-10-0, Rohan Prem 17-5-29-1.