Kerala banked on its spinners' fine performance to have a slight edge over Jammu and Kashmir on the rain-truncated third day of the Ranji Trophy Group C match at the CAB Academy ground here on Saturday.
The day's action started 30 minutes late due to the wet outfield. The ground staff repaired one of the super-soppers and worked hard to make the field ready.
Resuming from 282 for seven, Kerala added 22 runs for three wickets to post 304 in its first innings. Jammu and Kashmir scored 106 for five before bad light stopped play around 1 p.m. Heavy rain followed and the umpires had to call off the day's play after one-and-a-half hours.
Sanju Samson, who was 142 not out on the previous day, and his partner Manu Krishnan put up 50 runs for the eighth wicket before Samiullah Beigh claimed the latter's wicket in the third over of the day to achieve his seventh fiver.
Samson, dropped by Adil Reshi at gully off Ram Dayal Punia on 144, was the ninth wicket to fall. He offered a catch to the same fielder at midwicket while playing a pull shot of Ram Dayal.
Samiullah bagged his sixth wicket in the form of Sandeep Warrier and wrapped up the Kerala innings within 30 minutes.
Jammu and Kashmir adopted an attacking approach and paid the price for it. Reshi looked for runs and gathered six boundaries in his 38-ball 40. He collected a few fours behind the stumps besides driving Warrier and Manu Krishnan to the fence on the off-side.
Reshi, who added 57 runs with his opening partner Shubham Khajuria, was trapped in front in Iqbal Abdullah's third delivery. Abdullah struck in the first ball of the post-lunch session by having Pranav Gupta caught at first slip. Khajuria, who played cautiously, perished to a loose shot off Abdullah.
Monish dismissed Pervez Rasool, who edged it to first slip, with a good delivery. The left-arm spinner had an aggressive Ian Dev Singh Chauhan caught at mid-on to take two wickets in his four overs.
Kerala – 1st innings: Bhavin Thakker lbw b Samiullah 4, Jalaj Saxena c Gupta b Samiullah 69, Rohan Prem c Bisht b Ram Dayal 1, Sanju Samson c Reshi b Ram Dayal 154, Sachin Baby b Samiulla 0, Robert Fernandez c Bisht b Nazir 3, Iqbal Abdullah c Bisht b Ram Dayal 14, Monish K.c Ian Dev b Samiullah 14, Manu Krishnan c Ram Dayal b Samiullah 16, Sandeep Warrier c Chauhan b Samiullah 0, Basil Thampi (not out) 4, Extras (b-9, lb-7, nb-7, w-2) 25, Total (in 102.1 overs) 304
Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-9, 3-106, 4-106, 5-135, 6-168, 7-243, 8-295, 9-302.
Jammu and Kashmir bowling: Samiullah Beigh 27.1-5-80-6, Ram Dayal Punia 29-5-88-3, Umar Nazir 15-3-44-1, Pervez Rasool 19-6-37-0, Aamir Aziz 12-4-39-0.
Jammu and Kashmir – 1st innings: Shubham Khajuria c Thakker b Abdullah 13, Adil Reshi lbw b Abdullah 40, Pranav Gupta c Monish b Abdullah 8, Ian Dev Singh Chauhan c Saxena b Monish 13, Pervez Rasool c Abdullah b Monish 16, Bandeep Singh (batting) 1, Puneet Bisht (batting) 2, Extras (b-8, lb-1, nb-4) 13, Total (for five wickets in 29 overs) 106.
Fall of wickets: 1-57, 2-71, 3-84, 4-101, 5-104.
Kerala bowling: Sandeep Warrier 7-2-30-0, Manu Krishnan 3-1-8-0, Basil Thampi 5-2-21-0, Iqbal Abdullah 10-1-32-3, Monish K. 4-1-6-2.
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