Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Natarajan, Shah dent Kerala

Tamil Nadu rode on contributions from every bowler, led by pacer T. Natarajan’s three wickets on day two of the Ranji Trophy match against Kerala.

T. Natarajan castles Sanju Samson for nine on day two.   -  R. Ragu

Kerala did enough initially to wrap up Tamil Nadu’s innings in quick time for 268 with pacer Sandeep Warrier completing his fifer, but at the end of the day the visiting team was staring down the barrel at 151 for nine on the second day of the Ranji Trophy clash here on Friday.

READ | Day 1 report

Debutant Shahrukh Khan was unlucky to miss out on a century after he was stranded on 92 when Basil Thampi cleaned up the last two wickets in one over.

The home team rode on contributions from every bowler, led by pacer T. Natarajan’s three wickets.

Natarajan set things rolling with a classical left-arm pacer’s delivery to Jalaj Saxena, bringing the ball in and finding the off-stump.

However, K.B. Arun Karthick and P. Rahul steadied the innings and looked comfortable in keeping the TN bowlers at bay.

But, just a few overs before lunch, left-arm spinner Rahil Shah struck, trapping Arun Karthick leg-before while trying to sweep.

Post lunch, the TN bowlers took charge. Sanju Samson drove one past mid-off for a boundary after which the ball was changed as it had gone out of shape. That marked the change of course of the match.

Natarajan, coming around the wicket, immediately removed Samson bowled trying to go for another expansive drive.

Ranji Trophy | Round 5 Day 2: as it happened

Rahul was the only batsman who looked untroubled against the TN bowlers, be it pace or spin. He started with two boundaries off Mohammed before hitting Kaushik Gandhi for a huge six and looked comfortable driving Natarajan despite some reverse swing. A fine cover drive took him to his half-century.

After Rahil Shah accounted for skipper Sachin Baby (caught in the slips), Sai Kishore struck in his second over trapping the well-set Rahul leg-before.

In his next over, he accounted for Vishnu Vinod, also caught in the slips, Indrajith taking a sharp catch to leave Kerala struggling at 110 for six at tea.

Post-tea, Aksahyan Chandran and Sijomon Joseph batted sensibly to frustrate the TN bowlers though runs were hard to come by with a 27-run partnership before Chandran and Basil Thampi was removed in quick succession to leave the visitors at 138 for nine.

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