SPORT

Bhavin Thakkar and Rohan Prem make merry

DYNAMIC DUO:Bhavin Thakkar (left) and captain Rohan Prem knocked the stuffing out of the oppostion bowling while compiling a double hundred stand.

DYNAMIC DUO:Bhavin Thakkar (left) and captain Rohan Prem knocked the stuffing out of the oppostion bowling while compiling a double hundred stand.  

The maturity displayed by the professional in Bhavin Thakkar and skipper Rohan Prem helped Kerala to a position of comfort at the end of the opening day of its four-day Ranji Trophy match against Goa at the Brabourne stadium here on Sunday.

The side, looking for its first win of the season, was 290 for two in its first innings at close as both Thakkar and Prem pressed hard to push the Goans to the wall and came up with scintillating centuries. In fact, it was day in which everything went as planned for Kerala except for when it lost the toss and then Vishnu Vinod early after being put in.

The surprise here was Goan captain Sagun Kamat’s decision to field first on what looked to be a perfect batting pitch. Though Kamat seemed to be proved right when a tentative Vishnu Vinod guided Rituraj Singh straight to his waiting hands, Goan paid a heavy price as Thakkar and Prem got together to put Kerala back on track.

The right-left combine of Thakkar and Prem took some time before hitting the high street. The duo concentrated hard till the pitch eased out and once they got their eye in, there was no stopping them.

Spinners Shadab Jakati and Amit Yadav bore the brunt of their nonchalant display as the Kerala pair put on a superb 232-run partnership in 70.1 overs.

Thakkar, who trains regularly at the same ground, got to his first century of the season and sixth overall in the championships while the 30-year-old Prem completed his 12th career ton, the 11th having come in the match against Haryana last week.

But having gone through a blemish-less innings lasting 200 deliveries, Thakkar (117, 14x4) was bowled off his legs after mistiming a sweep against Jakati. However, with Sanju Samson joining Prem, Kerala was successful in denying the Goans another happy occasion right through until stumps were drawn.

Prem was batting on 120 (272 balls, 16x4) while Samson was on 28 (48 balls, 5x4, 1x6).

Both Thakkar and Prem were quite happy at the end of the day. While the former commented that it was a much-needed century, Prem, despite being tired, promised to soldier on again on Monday.

The scores:

Kerala — 1st innings: Vishnu Vinod c Kamat b Rituraj 5, Bhavin Thakkar b Jakati 117, Rohan Prem (batting) 120, Sanju Samson (batting) 28; Extras (b-12, lb-6, w-1, nb-1): 20; Total (for two wkts. in 90 overs): 290.

Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-246.

Goa bowling: Rituraj Singh 19-10-21-1, Saurabh Bandekar 16-4-47-0, Felix Alemao 9-4-11-0, Shadab Jakati 20-1-97-1, Amit Yadav 22-3-71-0, Darshan Misal 4-0-25-0.

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