Ranji Trophy: Baby, Samson prevent Kerala collapse as Rajasthan holds slender lead

Kerala suffered another collapse despite the 145-run stand between Sanju Samson and Sachin Baby as it slumped from 176 for three to 268 for eight before stumps.

Published : Dec 21, 2022 21:02 IST

FILE PHOTO: Kerala batter Sachin Baby smashed his 10th First Class century in the Ranji Trophy.
FILE PHOTO: Kerala batter Sachin Baby smashed his 10th First Class century in the Ranji Trophy. | Photo Credit: VIJAY SONEJI

FILE PHOTO: Kerala batter Sachin Baby smashed his 10th First Class century in the Ranji Trophy. | Photo Credit: VIJAY SONEJI

Sachin Baby and Sanju Samson have been involved in several significant partnerships for Kerala. Their latest bailed the team out of a difficult situation on the second day of the Ranji Trophy match against Rajasthan at Jaipur’s Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Wednesday.

Not that Kerala is placed safely at half-way through the match. But without the fourth-wicket partnership of 145 between Baby (109 batting, 174b, 13x4) and Samson (82, 108b, 14x4), the host would have taken control of the match. Kerala had been reduced to 31 for three by a fine spell from left-arm seamer Aniket Choudhary.

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erala suffered another collapse though after Samson and Baby’s rescue act. From 176 for three, Kerala slumped to 268 for eight at stumps, trailing by 69 runs.

Earlier, Rajasthan had resumed at the overnight 310 for five but lost the remaining wickets for an addition of 27. Jalaj Saxena was once again the most successful bowler for Kerala, with figures of three for 78. The off-spinner had taken nine wickets in Kerala’s win against Jharkhand at Ranchi a few days ago.

Baby, who scored his eighth First Class hundred, said Kerala would try to take its first-innings total as close as possible to Rajasthan and then put pressure on its batters in the second innings. “The wicket could take some turn on the third day, so Jalaj could trouble their batters,” Baby told Sportstar

“It wasn’t easy batting today, especially early on. So, Sanju and I had to be very careful.”

He said Rajasthan had been bowling really well. “Aniket and (Kamlesh) Nagarkoti were not easy to face at all,” he said. “I enjoyed batting with Sanju yet again; we know each other’s game so well.”

The scores: Rajasthan – 1st Innings: Yash Kothari b Sijomon 58, Abhijeet Tomar c Rahul b Fanoos 10, Mahipal Lomror b Nidheesh 23, Deepak Hooda c Fanoos b Jalaj 133, Ashok Menaria c Rahul c Jalaj 0, Salman Khan run out (Thampi) 74, Manav Suthar lbw b Nidheesh 6, Kunal Rathore b Jalaj 0, Kamlesh Nagarkoti c Baby b Thampi 12, Arafat Khan c Baby b Thampi 1, Aniket Choudhary (not out) 0; Extras (lb-15, w-5) 20; Total (in 97.1 overs): 337.

Fall of wickets: 1-25, 2-86, 3-101, 4-105, 5-296, 6-311, 7-314, 8-335, 9-337.

Kerala bowling: Thampi 13.1-1-43-2, Nidheesh 20-4-57-2, Fanoos 18-2-70-1, Jalaj 28-3-78-3, Sijomon 15-2-54-1, Akshay 3-0-20-0.

Kerala -- 1st Innings: P. Rahul b Aniket 10, Rohan Prem c Rathore b Aniket 18, Shoun Roger c Menaria b Aniket 0, Sachin Baby (batting) 109, Sanju Samson c Salman b Suthar 82, Akshay Chandran run out (Nagarkoti) 5, Jalaj Saxena c sub (Shubham) b Nagarkoti 21, Sijomon Joseph c Nagarkoti b Suthar 10, Basil Thampi lbw b Suthar 0; Extras (b-4, lb-9) 13; Total (for eight wkts. in 73 overs): 268. Fall of wickets:1-22, 2-28, 3-31, 4-176, 5-194, 6-222, 7-264, 8-268. Rajasthan bowling: Aniket 17-1-73-3, Arafat 11-4-31-0, Nagarkoti 9-1-43-1, Suthar 22-2-75-3, Lomror 12-0-33-0, Tomar 2-2-0-0.

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