Elite-B-D-1-R-4

Elite B table topper, Kerala, had a horrible day one in round four of Ranji Trophy 2018-19 season as they were bowled out for a paltry 68 in their first innings at the St’Xavier’s KCA Cricket Ground, Trivandrum on Wednesday against Madhya Pradesh.

After opting to bat first, Kerala were in for a shock as MP opening bowlers – 22-year-old Kuldeep Sen and former India U19 Avesh Khan- ran through the top-order in no time, reducing Kerala to 14/4 in 10 overs. Sen, playing his fourth first class game, claimed the first three wickets to fall removing Jalaj Saxena (2), Rohan Prem (0) and KB Arun Karthick (6), before Khan sent back Sanju Samson for 2.

Leg spinner Mihir Hirwani then added two more crucial scalps in the form Kerala’s two most experienced players in skipper Sachin Baby (7) and Vasudevan Jagadeesh (10) ,as Kerala slumped to 27/6. Vishnu Vinod and Akshay Chandran scored 16 runs each to take Kerala past the 50-run mark, but Khan returned to pluck three quicks wickets to bundle out the home team.

In reply, MP lost Mohnish Mishra early to Sandeep Warrier for 1, but opener Aryaman Birla scored 25 before in-form Rajat Patidar and skipper Naman Ojha scored at a fair clip to take MP to 161/2 at close of play.

Patidar remained unbeaten on 70 while Ojha raced to 58 not out off 99 balls.

Brief Scores: Madhya Pradesh 161/2 (Rajat Patidar 70*, Naman Ojha 53*; Sandeep Warrier 1/14) lead Kerala 63 (Akshay Chandran 16*; Avesh Khan 4/8) by 98 runs