Ranji Trophy: Kerala restricts Haryana

Amid the cold and windy conditions, the playing surface remained flat throughout but the home side, having won the toss, lost its way after having made a steady start in the first session.

Pace sensation Basil Thampi played his part in Haryana being reduced to 207-9 after winning the toss and choosing to bat first   -  Special Arrangement

Kerala's seamers, led by Sandeep Warrier, restricted Haryana to 207 for nine in its first innings on the opening day of a crucial Group B Ranji Trophy match at the Chaudhary Bansi Lal cricket stadium here on Saturday.

Amid the cold and windy conditions, the playing surface remained flat throughout but the home side, having won the toss, lost its way after having made a steady start in the first session. Guntasweer Singh and Shubham Rohilla did provide Haryana with the best opening partnership of the current season as they kept the Kerala medium pacers at bay and put on 66 runs for the first wicket.

Match Centre

Guntasweer, when on 18, was given a reprieve by Mohammed Azharudden off C. V. Vinod Kumar, who, along with M.D. Nidheesh and Sandeep Warrier, made it to the playing XI in place of Sijomon Joseph, K. C. Akshay and Fabin Farooque Ahmed. However, he was unable to capitalise, adjudged leg before to Jalaj Saxena in the latter’s third over.

Haryana was well-placed at 94 for one off 32 overs at lunch, but its steady progress was stopped immediately thereafter as C. V. Vinod Kumar, with an inspired display, accounted for Shubham Rohilla and Chaitanaya Bishnoi, both caught behind by Sanju Samson, in successive overs. With Sandeep and Nidheesh also getting into the act, the home side was quickly reduced to 168 for six even as the Haryana skipper Amit Mishra was forced to return after getting hit on his right hand by a Nidheesh delivery, in between.

Rajat Paliwal was the only batsman who stood against the Kerala onslaught and, with Amit Mishra, who resumed his innings after the fall of the sixth wicket, was involved in a 49-run partnership before he fell victim to Basil Thampi. Sandeep Warrier, returning for his fourth spell, ran through the tail to finish with a tally of four for 50 before bad light forced a premature end to the day’s play.