Ranji Trophy: Bishnoi, Shubham put Rajasthan in command

Kerala was bowled out for a paltry 90 on the opening day of its match before Rajasthan's Ravi Bishnoi and Yash Kothari further punished the host with the bat.

Shubham Sharma broke the back of Kerala innings with a fine spell of five for 41.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Half-centuries of contrasting styles by Ravi Bishnoi (67) and Yash Kothari (66 batting) complemented the fine bowling effort of Shubham Sharma (5/41) as Rajasthan took a vice-like grip on the match after the first day's play against Kerala in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group A encounter at the KCA-St. Xavier's College ground on Sunday. 

Sachin Baby won his fourth consecutive toss but was left ruing his decision to bat as Rajasthan spinners skittled out Kerala for a paltry 90. Ravi Bishnoi's counterattacking knock ensured that the advantage was not lost by his side as Rajasthan finished the day at 173 for four.

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Bishnoi added 124 runs for the third wicket with opener Yash Kothari after Jalaj Saxena had struck two quick blows. 

Bishnoi took calculated risks against the Kerala spinners and struck five sixes in his blazing knock while Kothari played patiently as the second wicket stand took the game away from the host.

There was no demons on the pitch but it was more in the mind of the Kerala batsmen. Though the odd ball turned and kept low, none of the batsmen showed the patience to build an innings. Instead some of them were guilty of playing rash strokes to gift their wickets. 

Shubham bowled with nagging accuracy and profited from recklessness of the host batsmen. Rajasthan medium pacers Aniket Choudhary and Rituraj Singh had a measure of Kerala's latest opening pair - Vishnu Vinod and debutant Rohan Kunnummal - and dismissed both of them cheaply to give the visitor a great start. 

The spinners looked innocuous early on until Baby (6) unwisely tried to heave Shubham and was bowled. Rohan Prem (18) was dismissed by the best ball of the innings. The ball from Arjit Gupta turned and took the edge as Rohan played forward and was caught at slips. Azharuddeen perished while playing a big ambitious drive early in the innings.

Jalaj played across to Arjit and umpire S Ravi upheld the appeal as the batsman indicated he had hit the ball without much success. There was no late order revival as both Salman Nizar and Akshay Chandran fell cheaply. Kerala lost its last seven wickets for 43 runs to be bundled out for 90. 

The scores

Kerala Ist innings

Vishnu Vinod c Chandrapal b Aniket 0, Rohan Kunnummal c Manender b  Rituraj 8, Rohan Prem c Menaria b Gupta 18, Sachin Baby b  Shubham 6, Jalaj Saxena lbw Arjit 11, Mohammed Azharuddeen c Garhwal b Shubham 1, Salman Nizar c Lomror b Shubham 11, Akshay Chandran c Kothari b Shubham  6, M.D. Nidheesh c Manender b Chandrapal, Abhishek Mohan c Gupta b Shubham 11, K.C.Akshay not out 0.Extras (1b-9); 9, Total (all out in 44.2 overs) 90

Fall of wickets 1-8, 2-12, 3-27, 4-47, 5-56, 6-56, 7-65, 8-72, 9-82.

Rajasthan bowling

Aniket 6-2-6-1, Rituraj  5-2-8-1, Aditya 3-0-7-0, Arjit  15-8-13-2, Shubham  14-2-4-41-5, Chandrapal  1-0-6-1.

Rajasthan Ist innings

Yash Kothari batting 66, Manender Singh lbw Jalaj 0, Manipal Lomror lbw Jalaj 1 Ravi Bishnoi b Jalaj 67, Chandrapal Singh lbw Jalaj 3, Ashok Menaria batting 23Extras b 10, lb-3): 13, Total (four four wickets in 44 overs) 173

Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-6, 3-120, 4-130.

Kerala bowling

Nidheesh 3-0-15-0, Jalaj 17-2-34-4, Abhishek 2-0-14-0, K.C.Akshay 11-1-45-0, Akshay Chandran 10-1-46-0, Sachin 1-0-6-0.

 

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