Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Abhishek Raman century frustrates Kerala

Bengal, in reply to Kerala's first innings total of 239, was 236 for six at stumps. Opener Abhishek Raman scored 110.

Abhishek Raman scored 110 on a difficult surface to help Bengal inch closer towards a first-innings lead against Kerala. (File Photo)   -  B. Jothi Ramalingam

A defiant century by opener Abhishek Raman (110) brought Bengal on the threshold of taking the first innings against Kerala at the end of the second day's play in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group A & B match at the KCA-St.Xavier's College ground on Wednesday.

Bengal, in reply to Kerala's first innings total of 239, was 236 for six at stumps with Shahbaz Ahmed (25 batting) and Arnab Nandi (7 batting) negotiating a difficult half-an-hour's play in the final session.

Abhishek grafted his way to a deserved century after showing loads of patience and technique on a dicey surface which was still helping the spinners. Kerala dealt early blows reducing Bengal to 25 for two but Abhishek Raman found an ideal ally in former captain Manoj Tiwary (51) to rebuild the innings with a 99-run third-wicket stand.

As it happened| Ranji Trophy - Round 2, Day 2

Tiwary, who was dropped by Robin Uthappa in the slips off Monish when on 8, made Kerala pay dearly for it. Tiwary targeted Jalaj Saxena and played the forceful shots against the off spinner.

Abhishek Raman punished the loose deliveries on offer as the third stand prospered. However, Tiwary's impetuousity cost him his wicket.

The batsman, after lifting Jalaj for a six over extra cover,  repeated the stroke and was caught at the fence by Robin Uthappa. Leg spinner S.Midhun, who was surprisingly introduced late into the match, scalped Sudip Chatterjee in his first over as Kerala enjoyed a rare success in the second session.

But Abhishek figured in two partnerships — 48 runs for the fifth wicket with Shreevats Goswami (24) and 41 runs for the sixth wicket with Shahbaz Ahmed — that brought his team closer to Kerala's total. At the fag end of the day, Basil Thampi ended Abhishek's vigil when the batsman feathered a catch to Monish at first slip.

Earlier, Bengal medium pacers needed just 1.2 overs to wrap up the Kerala innings. Kerala added just four runs to its overnight total before it was dismissed for 239 runs. The impressive Ishan Porel finished with three wickets.

Brief scores:

Kerala 1st Innings 239 all out in 84.2 overs ( Sanju Samson 116, Robin Uthappa 50, Mukesh Kumar 2-37,  Arnab Nandi 2-46) vs Bengal 1st innings 236/6 in 86 overs (Abhishek Raman 110, Manoj Tiwary 51,Shahbaz Ahmed batting 25, Basil Thampi 2-35, K. Monish 2-52)


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