It was the kind of day any team would have wanted to begin a season with.
You name four seamers in the eleven, win the toss, send the opposition in on a green-top, bowl them out cheaply and then overtake the first-innings score without losing a wicket well before the stumps are drawn.
Could the day have been even better? It could, if you have a 17-year-old take a wicket with his first ball in senior cricket — and go on to claim three more — and if your 23-year-old opener makes a lovely hundred in only his second First Class match.
READ: AS IT HAPPENED
Kerala ended its great day leading Meghalaya by 57 runs with nine wickets intact. Edhen Apple Tom and Rohan Kunnummal will remember this day at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Ground (C) for the rest of their lives.
Rohan though might be disappointed that he got out in the last over of the day. But, he had more than done his bit. He played with confidence and flair to make 107 off just 97 balls (17x4, 1x6). He executed some gorgeous strokes, especially square off the wicket on the off-side.
His left-handed partner P. Rahul (91 n.o.t, 117b, 13x4, 1x6) proved an ideal foil, as they added 201 for the opening wicket. The senior man played one of the shots of the day — a flowing cover-drive off Chengkam Sangma.
Before the batting exhibition, the Kerala seamers had put on a show with Edhen in the starring role.
The teenager became the first Kerala bowler to take a wicket with his first ball in First Class cricket, as he had opener Kishan Lyngdoh edge to slip. He later produced an even better ball to take his second wicket: the ball rose too uncomfortably for Chirag Khurana, who snicked it behind the stumps.
The Meghalaya innings was finished off by the 39-year-old S. Sreesanth, playing his first First Class match since 2013. His spells belied his age.
Manu Krishnan, who took three wickets, and Basil Thampi too bowled well to stifle Meghalaya, for which skipper Punit Bisht (93, 90b, 19x4) waged a lonely battle.
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