Ranji Trophy: Gujarat in front after 20 wickets fall on day one

Twenty wickets fell on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy Group A match between Gujarat and Kerala at the Lalbhai Contractor Stadium in Surat.

Gujarat captain and wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel leading his side back to the pavilion after bowling Kerala out for 70 on the opening day.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

Twenty wickets fell on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy Group A match between Gujarat and Kerala at the Lalbhai Contractor Stadium here on Wednesday. After getting bowled out for 127, Gujarat dismissed Kerala for 70. Before the stumps were drawn, there was enough time for the host to begin its second innings.

It was one for no wicket at close with a lead of 58. With plenty of time left, there will certainly be a result.

There was life on the wicket but batting wasn't easy. It looked greenish and the overcast conditions, which prevailed for most of the day, made life difficult for the batsmen. The ball kept swinging around.

With better application, more runs could have been scored.

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The first session of the second day will be important. Though Gujarat is in the driver’s seat at the moment, Kerala can strike back if its bowlers shine with quick wickets like today.

After electing to bowl, an incisive spell of pace bowling from K.M. Asif saw Gujarat lose two wickets inside seven overs, including that of run machine Priyank Panchal (10), who was trapped in front of the stumps.

Then, Jalaj Saxena’s off-spin took over. His 19th five-wicket haul in first-class cricket choked the opposition. Only opener Kathan Patel (36) and Piyush Chawla (32) — at No. 8 — stood tall.

Kerala’s batsmen fared even worse. Only Robin Uthappa (26) went past 20. His fourth-wicket stand with opener P. Rahul (17) was shaping up well and giving Kerala hopes of getting past the Gujarat total. But when the partnership was worth 42, Rahul was adjudged lbw to seamer Roosh Kalaria, who finished with four for 20. The Kerala opener, who had been batting with determination, was unlucky.

Kerala lost its last seven wickets for the addition of merely 20 runs.

Gujarat did not even have to use the leg-spin of Chawla, who had emerged as the most expensive Indian player at the IPL auction last week.

Brief scores: Gujarat 127 (K Patel 36, P Chawla 32; J Saxena 5/26) lead Kerala 70 (R Uthappa 26; R Kalaria 4/20) by 58 runs at stumps on Day 1

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