Opener Ishaan Gadekar with a defiant unbeaten 76 and skipper Darshan Misal (37 batting) wore down the Kerala spinners on a spicy pitch to put Goa in control at the end of the second day’s play in the Ranji Trophy cricket match at the KCA-St. Xavier’s College Ground on Wednesday.
Though Kerala hit back in the last session with two quick wickets, Ishaan in the company of Darshan added 40 runs for the sixth wicket that saw Goa end the day at 200 for five in reply to Kerala’s first innings total of 265.
Ishaan used his feet to smother the spin and was instrumental in blunting the effectiveness of Kerala’s strike bowler Jalaj Saxena. Ishaan was aggressive against Jalaj and never allowed him to settle down. Jalaj had an ordinary day on field as well as he dropped Siddhesh Lad when the batter was on 11 off Sijomon Joseph.
Siddesh went on to score 35 and figured in a momentum changing stand with Darshan Misal after Ishaan retired hurt with cramps soon after completing his fifty.
For Kerala, Sijomon Joseph was the standout bowler. The left-arm spinner found his rhythm and troubled the batters by extracting turn and bounce from the pitch.
The Goans were off to a good start with the opening pair of Amogh Desai and Ishaan Gadekar adding 61 runs. However at the stroke of lunch, Sijomon induced an edge from Amogh which was snapped up Akshay at slips. The wicket lifted Kerala and Sijomon struck again as in-form Suyash Prabhudessai top-edged a sweep and was caught by Vaisakh Chandran at mid on.
But Lad, Darshan and Ishaan eschewed risks and rotated strike to score their runs.Earlier in the morning, Goan medium pacers Lakshay Garg (4/44) and Arjun Tendulkar (2/49) ran through the Kerala lower order with a sustained spell of hostility as the host lost the remaining five wickets for 18 runs off just 5.3 overs.
Goans had a dream start to the day with Garg trapping overnight centurion Rohan Prem (112) in front off the first delivery of the day to set the trend. Jalaj struck a six and four off Garg but the bowler cleaned up Jalaj and Arjun Tendulkar prised out Siijomon Joseph (7) and Basil Thampi (1) cheaply as Kerala was dismissed for 265.
Kerala -Ist innings
P.Rahul c Amogh Desai b Shubham 31, Rohan S. Kunnummal c Eknath b Garg 20, Rohan Prem lbw Garg 112, Sachin Baby c Amogh b Lad 46, Shoun Roger c Darshan b Mohit 6, Akshay Chandran c Amogh b Shubham 20, Sijomon Joseph c Eknath b Tendulkar 7, Jalaj Saxena c Ishaan b Garg 12, Basil Thampi b Tendulkar 1, Vaisakh Chandran lbw Garg 0, N.P. Basil not out 0.
Extras (b 3, lb 5, w 2): 10
Total (in 95.3 overs) 265
Fall of wickets: 1-25, 2-74, 3-179, 4-190, 5-239, 6-247, 7-263, 8-264, 9-265
Garg 19-5-44-4, Tendulkar 16.3-2-49-2, Mohit 25-4-78-1, Darshan 10-0-35-0, Shubham 17-4-39-2, Lad 8-0-12-1.
Amogh Desai c Akshay b Sijomon 29, Ishaan Gadekar batting 76, Suyash Prabhudesai c Vaisakh b Sijomon 3, Snehal Kauthankar c Akshay b Vaisakh 7, Siddhesh Lad c Akshay b Sijomon 3, Darshan Mishal batting 37, K..D Eknath b Jalaj 6.
Extras (b 4, lb 1, nb 2): 7
Total (for five wkts. in 79 overs): 200
Fall of wickets: 1-62, 2-66, 3-87, 4-149, 5-160.
Thampi 6-0-30-0, Vaisakh 23-5-54-1, Jalaj 25-4, 60-1, Sijomon 17-2-35-3, Basil 4-1-8-0, Akshay 4-0-8-0.