Ranji Trophy: Hyderabad pacers torment Kerala in rain-affected day

Kerala ended day one against host Hyderabad in the Ranji Trophy at 126 for seven after only 41 overs of play were possible due to rain delays.

Hyderabad pacer Ravi Kiran cleans up Kerala's Rohan Prem on the first day of the four-day Ranji Trophy Elite Group match in Hyderabad on Friday.   -  V_V_SUBRAHMANYAM

Hyderabad pacers showed the desired discipline to restrict to Kerala to 126 for seven at the end of first day's play in a Ranji Trophy Elite Group game at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Friday.

Kerala, electing to bat first after heavy overnight rains delayed the start of play by 140 minutes and forced extension of play by an hour in the evening, was off to dismal start when pacer Ravi Kiran induced opener P. Rahul to knick to wicketkeeper in the eighth over of the day.

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In the next over, pacer Mohammed Siraj got the second breakthrough when he saw a half-hearted cut from Jalaj Saxena land straight in the hands of the gully fielder.

Ravi Kiran was back in the thick of action cleaning up Rohan Prem with sheer pace to reduce Kerala to 32 to three.

The Kerala camp would have looked up to Robin Uthappa to score big. He was bowled off a no-ball from Ravi Kiran when on four but he failed to capitalise on that chance. He soon tenatively pushed at a delivery from all-rounder T. Ravi Teja, going away, to be caught behind by K. Sumanth to see Kerala slump to 32 for four in the 15th over.

From there, Kerala never really recovered though Vishnu Vinod and captain Sachin Baby did show some resistance with a 38-run stand.

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In the post-tea session, Kerala lost three more wickets of Vinod, Sachin and the dangerous-looking Salman Nizar (37, 43b, 5x4 1x6) before the pacers Ravi and Siraj and off-spinner Saaketh Sai Ram picked one wicket each to push the opposition further back on the defensive.

By all means, it was a much improved show by the pacers who clearly exploited the moisture in the track with perfect line and length.

Earlier, Hyderabad middle-order batsman B. Sandeep opted out of the match as he was indisposed. On the other hand, J. Mallikarjun and Jawed Ali were making their Ranji debut for the home team.

THE SCORES:

Kerala - 1st innings: P. Rahul c Sumanth b Ravi Kiran 0, Jalaj Saxena c Jaweed b Siraj 10, Rohan Prem b Ravi Kiran 0, Robin Uthappa c Sumanth b Ravi Teja 9, Sachin Baby c Siraj b Saaketh 29, Vishnu Vinod lbw b Md Siraj 19, Salman Nizar c Sumanth b Ravi Kiran 37, Akshay Chauhan batting 2, Basil Thampi batting 0.

Extras: (nb-2, w-3, b-8, lb-7) 20.

Total: (for 7 wkts in 41 overs) 126.

Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-16, 3-32, 4-32, 5-70, 6-124, 7-124.

Hyderabad bowling: Siraj 13-3-36-2, Ravi Kiran 12-4-24-3, Ravi Teja 9-3-23-1, Mehdi Hasan 2-0-4-0, Saaketh 5-1-24-1.

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