Ranji Trophy: Kerala restricts Tripura to 213

Pacer Sandeep Warrier and off-spinner Jalaj Saxena picked up three wickets apiece as Kerala restricted Tripura to 213 in its first innings on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy Group C match, at the Barabati Stadium here on Tuesday.

Kerala seamer Sandeep Warrier who claimed three wickets.   -  Y. B. Sarangi

Pacer Sandeep Warrier and off-spinner Jalaj Saxena picked up three wickets apiece as Kerala restricted Tripura to 213 in its first innings on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy Group C match, at the Barabati Stadium here on Tuesday.

Electing to bat, Tripura banked on a 69-run eighth wicket partnership between Yashpal Singh and captain Manisankar Murasingh to recover from a precarious 124 for seven and post a 200-plus total.

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In reply, Kerala was 11 for no loss when bad light stopped play.

Yashpal delved deep into his wealth of experience to score a timely half-century, his second of the season, and crossed 8,000 runs as he rescued Tripura from trouble.

The former Services batsman was watchful before switching gear to play some delectable shots on the onside, including a six off pacer Basil Thampi over midwicket.

The large-hearted Murasingh excelled with his placement to collect some fours on either side. His clean six over long on off Saxena was one of the finest shots of the day.

Earlier, Kerala seamers utilised the morning conditions well.

Warrier exploited the variable bounce and set up Bishal Ghosh (36) nicely to provide breakthrough in his fourth over. He hit Bishal's grill with a rising delivery and followed it up with another one to have him caught at second slip.

Thampi made another dent when a ball on the leg stump stopped a bit and Abhijit Dey played a loose shot to square leg.

Udiyan Bose batted with composure before offering an outside edge to a diving Iqbal Abdullah at slip in Saxena's second over.

A set Smit Patel threw his wicket after lunch and allowed Kerala to mount pressure.

Warrier changed end to bowl more accurately and had Aniruddha Saha and Gurinder Singh caught behind. Mohammed Azharuddeen dived to his right to effect Gurinder's dismissal.

“My aim was to make the batsmen play as per my plans and I was able to do that,” said Warrier.

Akshay Chandran trapped Rajat Dey in front.

Soon after reaching his 50 (99b, 5x4, 1x6), Yashpal got out playing a Thampi delivery going down the leg. Murasingh (42 off 66b, 6x4, 1x6) was caught at slip in his attempt to cut Saxena, who bowled a consistent line and length to bag three for 37.