SPORT

Kerala snatches slender lead

JAMSHEDPUR, DEC. 6 Kerala was 18 for no loss in its second innings after it gained a valuable six run first innings lead against Jharkhand on the penultimate day of the four-day plate A Ranji Trophy tie here on Monday.

Jharkhand's first innings ended 75 minutes into the post-tea session at the score of 315 in reply to Kerala's 321.

At close, Kerala's openers M. Nathani was batting on 13 while Sebastian Antony was on 2.

Earlier, resuming at 159 for four, host Jharkhand rode on a brilliant 94 run knock by opener Manish Vardhan, who was also involved in two valuable partnerships with Sumit Panda (35) and S. Nadeem (25) before he was bowled off medium pacer Sreesnath.

Vardhan, who was unbeaten on 37 overnight, played a cautious knock as Jharkhand's wickets kept tumbling at regular interval at the other end and struck 12 boundaries and one six to notch up 94 off 340 deliveries.

Vardhan in the company of skipper Sumit Panda stitched a valuable 69 runs for the seventh wicket when spinner Jagadish struck to have Panda caught off Sreekumar Nair at a total of 254.

S. Nadeem, who joined Vardhan following the dismissal of Shahid Khan (2), gave his senior a good stand to help the team reach a respectable score of 315.

Nair emerged successful bowler for Kerala grabbing five wickets for 69 runs while Yohannan and Sreesanth shared two wickets apiece.

The scores:

Kerala — 1st innings: 321

Jharkhand — 1st innings: M. Vardhan b Sreesanth 94, R. Kumar c Nathani b Sreesanth 0, M. S. Dhoni b Nair 97, R. Kumar lbw b Nair 9, M. Diwakar c Ananthapadmanabhan b Nair 4, M. Goyal c Jagadish b Yohannan 3, S. Kumar c Oasis b Nair 10, S. Panda c Nair b Jagadish 35, Sahid Khan c Chandrasekhara b Nair 2, S. Nadeem c Nathani b Yohannan 25, S. S. Rao (not out) 3. Extras (b-7, lb-9, nb-16, wb-1) 33 Total 315.

Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-8, 3-153, 4-159, 5-162, 6-185, 7-254, 8-258, 9-312.

Kerala bowling: Yohannan 20-8-44-2, Sreesanth 26-6-72-2, Sunil Oasis 7-2-20-0, Suresh Kumar 10-4-41-0, Ananthapadmanabhan 18-1-51-0, Sreekumar Nair 35-16-69-5, Jagadish 2-1-2-1.

Kerala— 2nd innings: M. Nathani (batting) 13 S. Antony (batting) 2 Extras (lb-1, nb-2) 3 Total (for no loss ) 18.

Jharkhand bowling: Sumit Panda 7-2-8-0, M. Diwakar 5-2-5-0, S. S. Rao 2-1-4-0, S. Nadeem 1-1-0-0.

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