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HomeSportsRanji Trophy | Jalaj’s seven-for gives Kerala upper hand after Akshay’s ton

Ranji Trophy | Jalaj’s seven-for gives Kerala upper hand after Akshay’s ton

In seventh heaven: Jalaj’s spell had the Bengal batters in a spin.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Bengal’s worst fears came true after tea on the second day of the Ranji Trophy cricket match against Kerala at the St. Xavier’s College ground on Saturday.

The pitch changed character from batter-friendly to spin-friendly in the first session. The Kerala innings ended at 363 with Akshay Chandran completing his century. The wicket had good bounce and turn and Jalaj Saxena, found his form and in a mesmerising spell (seven for 67) reduced Bengal to 172 for eight.

Akshay acknowledges the applause on reaching his hundred.

Akshay acknowledges the applause on reaching his hundred.
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Karan Lal (22 batting) — who was bowled off a Jalaj no ball — and Suraj Sindhu Jaiswal (nine batting) added 21 runs for the ninth wicket.

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Jalaj was relentless and kept pitching the ball at the same spot from where it bounced and turned. He varied his pace and line to confuse the batter. Only opener Abhimanyu Easwaran looked capable of dealing with Jalaj’s variations. But Abhimanyu, after parrying Jalaj for long, feathered a catch to Rohan Kunnummal at short-leg.

Abhimanyu’s dismissal opened the floodgates and the Bengal batters fell like dead petals as it collapsed from 107 for one to 151 for eight with Jalaj picking up the seven wickets. Karan and Jaiswal added useful runs to frustrate Kerala in the final session.

Early in the morning, Sachin Baby and Akshay Chandran batted without any alarms against the medium-pacers and extended the fifth-wicket partnership to 179.

However left-arm spinners Ankit Mishra and Shahbaz Ahmed relished the bounce and made life difficult for the Kerala batters. Baby was caught by Manoj Tiwary in the slips as the ball turned and bounced. Azharuddeen (13) started off with a boundary, but perished trying to attack Mishra and was caught in the deep.

Akshay Chandran (106) completed his century, but was bowled by Shahbaz. Kerala lost wickets in a hurry as it slumped to 324 for eight. But Basil Thampi (20) and N.P. Basil (16) added useful runs which propped up the total.

The scores:

Kerala — 1st innings: Rohan S. Kunnummal c Manoj b Jaiswal 19, Jalaj Saxena c Abhishek b Mishra 40, Rohan Prem c Abhishek b Akash Deep 3, Sachin Baby c Manoj bt Karan 124, Sanju Samson c Manoj b Shahbaz 8, Akshay Chandran b Shahbaz 106, Mohammed Azharuddeen c Akash b Mishra 13, Shreyas Gopal c Manoj b Shahbaz 2, Basil Thampi lbw b Shahbaz 20, N.P. Basil c Manoj b Mishra 16, M.D. Nidheesh (not out) 3; Extras (b-4, lb-3, w-1, nb-1): 9; Total (in 127 overs): 363.

Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-40, 3-82, 4-112, 5-291, 6-312, 7-317, 8-324, 9-351.

Bengal bowling: Jaiswal 19-3-51-1, Akash 24-8-65-1, Mishra 35-5-84-3, Shahbaz 23.3-2-73-4, Karan 20-2-52-1, Kharia 6-0-29-0.

Bengal — 1st innings: Abhimanyu Easwaran c Rohan b Jalaj 72, Ranjot Singh Kharia b Nidheesh 6, Sudip Kumar Gharami c Rohan b Jalaj 33, Manoj Tiwary c Akshay b Jalaj 6, Abishek Poral c Rohan b jalaj 2, Anustup Majumdar c Baby b Jalaj 0, Shahbaz c Prem b Jalaj 8, Karan Lal (batting) 27, Akash Deep c Sanju b Jalaj 4, Suraj Sindhu Jaiswal (batting) 9; Extras (b-4, nb-1): 5; Total (for eight wkts. in 49 overs): 172.

Fall of wickets: 1-43, 2-107, 3-118, 4-122, 5-122, 6-129, 7-145, 8-151.

Kerala bowling: Thampi 2-0-16-1, Jalaj 20-3-67-7, Nidheesh 8-1-28-1, Shreyas 7-0-30-0, Basil 11-2-25-0, Akshay 1-0-2-0.

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