Ranji Trophy 2018-19, Elite Group B, Round 6: Kerala set for big win after Delhi lose 15 wickets

Kerala took a stranglehold of their Elite Ranji Trophy Group B game against Delhi, bowling out the visitors for 139 in the first innings and then reducing them to 41 for five in the second on Saturday. Experienced allrounder Jalaj Saxena was the star of the day as he took six wickets for 39 runs to help the host bundle out Delhi for 139 and gain a 181-run lead. Kerala’s first innings ended at 320.

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Only four Delhi batsmen reached double figures as Saxena ran through the line-up to set things up nicely for Kerala, who are aiming for a spot in the knockouts. The Delhi batsmen did not fare any better in the second innings, slipping to 41 for five at stumps on the second day, as Sandeep Warrier prized out the openers.

Resuming at an overnight 291 for seven, Kerala could add only 29 runs, as Shivam Sharma took two more wickets to take his tally to six. Delhi got off to a poor start, losing opener Sarthak Rajan (4) in the first over. Basil Thampi struck in the second over, having Hiten Dalal caught behind by Vishnu Vinod to leave Delhi at 4 for 2.

Skipper Dhruv Shorey (30) and Vaibhav Rawal (18) went about repairing the damage before the latter became Saxena’s first victim. The visitors kept losing wickets at regular intervals as Saxena bowled a nagging line and length. Delhi collapsed from 132 for six to 139 with Saxena and Sijomon Joseph getting among the wickets.

Brief scores: Kerala 320 all out in 95.3 overs (Jalaj Saxena 68, Vinoop Sheela Manoharan 77; Shivam Mishra 4 for 78) vs Delhi 139 all out in 66.2 overs (Jonty Sidhu 41; Jalaj Saxena 6 for 39) and 41 for 5 in 13 overs (Sandeep Warrier 3 for 16).