Ranji Trophy Quarterfinal: Gujarat, Kerala share spoils on seamers' day out

After bowling out Kerala for 185, it was the turn of Gujarat to face chin music as at Stumps on Day one, the Parthiv Patel-led side finds itself in trouble having lost four wickets for 97 runs on board.

Gujarat's Chintan Gaja celebrates along with his team-mates after dismissing Kerala opener P. Rahul.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

On winning the toss, Parthiv Patel didn’t have to think twice before asking Kerala to bat. On the evidently greenish-tinged wicket, his pace bowlers obliged, too. Chintan Gaja and Arzan Nagwaswalla shared seven wickets among themselves as Gujarat bowled out Kerala for 185.

Yet, the Gujarat captain wouldn’t have been completely pleased with the opening day of the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal match at the Wayanad Cricket Stadium on Tuesday. For, Kerala’s potent new-ball duo of Sandeep Warrier and Basil Thampi had broken the back of Gujarat’s top-order.

The visitor ended the day at 97 for four – 88 behind Kerala. All the 13 wickets of the day were claimed by seamers.

As it Happened

It certainly wasn’t Kerala’s day. If losing the toss was bad enough, and getting out for a low total was worse, there was more tragedy to come.

Its most accomplished batsman, Sanju Samson's right hand ring finger was broken by a nasty ball from Nagwaswalla, while he was batting on 17.

He would now be out of action for three to four weeks, according to the Kerala team management. And this has come at a time when Samson seemed to be getting back to form (he had scored two fifties in the win against Himachal Pradesh at Nadaun a few days ago).

He had walked out to bat at a most difficult period for Kerala, which had lost three wickets within a space of five balls to slip from 52 for one to 52 for four.

READ: Ranji Trophy Quarterfinal: Avneesh, Vaibhav help Uttarakhand keep Vidarbha at bay

It had all begun with opener P. Rahul getting cleaned up by a ball that kept low from Gaja, who finished with four wickets.

Off the very next ball, bowled by Nagwaswalla, Sijomon Joseph fished outside the off stump and was collected cleanly by Parthiv behind the stumps.

Two balls later, captain Sachin Baby could not keep an incoming ball down and the ballooned catch was taken by Dhruv Raval at short leg.

The hero from the last match, Vinoop Manoharan (25), and Vishnu Vinod (19) offered hope but could not stay long enough.

Some lusty blows by the No. 9, Thampi (37, 33b, 5x4, 1x6) ensured the host would have at least something to bowl at.

A little later, Thampi also shone in the role he is more accustomed to. He sent back Parthiv, who was trying to take his side out of trouble by going for big strokes. The visiting captain’s 43 had come off just 36 balls (5x4, 2x6).

Shortly after stumps, Gujarat’s coach Hitesh Majumdar said the second day’s morning session would be crucial. “That is the most difficult period for batting,” he said.

His counterpart could not have agreed more. “We have to take wickets early,” said Dav Whatmore. “I think the boys did well to come back today.”

Scorecard:

Kerala: first innings: P. Rahul b Gaja 26, Mohammed Azharuddeen b Kalaria 17, Sijomon Joseph c Parthiv b Nagwaswalla 8, Vinoop Manoharan c Parthiv b Gaja 25, Sachin Baby c Raval b Nagwaswalla 0, Sanju Samson (rtd ht) 17, Vishnu Vinod lbw b Kalaria 19, Jalaj Saxena b Nagwaswalla 14, Basil Thampi c Panchal b Gaja 37, M.D. Nidheesh c Chawla b Gaja 8, Sandeep Warrier (not out) 4, Extras (b-1, lb-9) 10;

Total (185 for nine in 39.3 overs)

Fall of wickets: 1-29, 2-52, 3-52, 4-52, 5-98, 6-118, 7-146, 8-179, 9-185

Gujarat bowling: Roosh Kalaria 13-3-62-2, Chintan Gaja 14.3-2-57-4, Arzan Nagwaswalla 11-2-50-3, Priyank Panchal 1-0-6-0

Gujarat: first innings: Kathan Patel c Azharuddeen b Warrier 1, Priyank Panchal b Warrier 8, Rahul Shah lbw b Thampi 15, Parthiv Patel b Thampi 43, Rujul Bhatt (batting) 10, Dhruv Raval (batting) 12, Extras (b-1, lb-6, w-1) 8; Total (for four wkts. in 34 overs): 97.

Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-14, 3-66, 4-75.

Kerala bowling: Sandeep Warrier 14-6-21-2, Basil Thampi 10-2-36-2, M.D. Nidheesh 8-0-27-0, Jalaj Saxena 2-0-6-0.

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