Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Kerala takes day one honours, bowls out Bengal for 147

Bengal batsmen cut a sorry figure on home turf to be bowled out for 147, giving Kerala an upper hand in its Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match at the Eden Gardens.

Young Basil Thampi returned with career-best first-class figures of 4 for 57.   -  PTI

Ever since Mohammed Shami expressed an interest to play for Bengal against Kerala, the focus of the Elite Group B match was expectedly on him. The Indian seamer took a wicket with his very second ball too, but the opening day had already belonged to three uncapped men from his own trade, though from the opposite side.

With a splendid display of seam and swing bowling, Basil Thampi, M.D. Nidheesh and Sandeep Warrier gave Kerala a great start against a formidable rival at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday. Its captain, Sachin Baby, had done it a favour when he won the toss in conditions ideal for pace bowling and it obliged in magnificent fashion, dismissing Bengal for 147.

It exploited the freshness and the greenness of the wicket, as it relentlessly attacked the home batsmen. It was well handled by Sachin, who got the bowling changes just about right.

AS IT HAPPENED: Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Round 3, Day 1

All the 30 overs in the opening session were bowled by the trio. And, by the end of it, they ensured that the Bengal top-order was in no shape to even think of reaching anywhere near the total it achieved — 510 for nine decl. — when it last batted on this ground, just a few days ago.

The new ball was shared by Warrier, who got the ball to swing both ways, and Thampi, who generated good pace. In his second over, Thampi got Koushik Ghosh to edge towards the slip where he was smartly taken by the diving Arun Karthik.

Ghosh hadn’t opened his account. Neither had Sudip Chatterjee when he was picked up behind the stumps by Sanju Samson off a ball from Sandeep Warrier that moved away for the left-hander; it was his second successive duck.

READ: Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Tamil Nadu restricts Andhra to 198-8 on Day One

Watching all this from the other end was opener Abhishek Raman, who played rather steadily. He put on 46 for the second wicket with skipper Manoj Tiwary.

However, Nidheesh, who gave very little away, sent back Tiwary, trapped him lbw. Abhishek had already been dismissed in a similar fashion by Warrier, for 40.

Anustup Majumdar, though, dug in. He batted sensibly to make 53 (97b, 6x4, 1x6), but received little support from the other batsmen, as the host’s innings came to a close within four overs after tea.

When bad light brought an early close, Kerala was 35 for one. “It was great to bowl finally on a helpful wicket,” said Thampi, who registered his career-best figures of four for 57.

Brief Scores:

Bengal 147 all out in 56.2 overs (Anustup Majumdar 53, Abhishek Raman 40; Basil Thampi 4/57, MD Nidheesh 3/22, Sandeep Warrier 2/42) vs Kerala 35/1 in 12 overs (Jalal Saxena 14 batting, Rohan Prem 14 batting; Mohammed Shami 1/19).

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