Hello and welcome to CricketCountry’s live coverage of the Ranji Trophy 2015-16 Group C match between Kerala and Himachal Pradesh at Malappuram, Kerala. This promises to be a high quality game since both Kerala and Himachal Pradesh have performed equally well this season. Hence, Day One of play will be crucial to determine which team has the upper-hand. Kerala is placed at No. 2 on the points table while Himachal Pradesh is at No. 4. The difference in points is that of only one. Both have won two games, lost one and drawn four which goes to show how even the contest promises to be. COMPLETE COVERAGE: Ranji Trophy 2015-16

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Himachal 163 | Kerala 103 | | Overs 37.5 | BATTING: R K Singh 1(2): After bowling out Kerala for a mere total of 103, Himachal also managed to post 163 runs, thereby taking a first innings lead of 60 runs. With the fall of the 10th wicket of Himachal, Day 1 was ended. OUT! K J Singh c Akshay Chandran b Fabid Ahmed 0(2)

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Himachal 38/0 |  Kerala 103 | Overs 6 | BATTING: Ankush Bains 18(14), Prashant Chopra 17(21): Batting first, Kerala were bundled out for a mere total of 103 in 47.4 overs with their skipper Sanju Samson top scoring with his 25 runs from 88 balls. Meanwhile, Himachal’s R K Singh finished with figures of 6 for 19 from 19. 4 overs. The other wickets were shared between Rishi Dhawan and N R Gangta.

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Kerela 84/8 | Overs 40 | BATTING: Sanju Samson 25(87), Monish Kareparambil 4(13): After the sixth wicket went down in the 24th over, Samson along with Akshay Kodoth managed to add around just 10 runs. Himachal’s R K Singh already has a five-wicket haul in the match. Meanwhile, Rishi Dhawan hasn;t struck after his early three dismissals. OUT! Akshay Kodoth LBW R K Singh 6(33) OUT! Fabid Ahmed c A K Rana b R K Singh 0(1)

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Kerela 57/6 | Overs 28 | BATTING: Sanju Samson 3(47), Akshay Kodoth 5(15): Rishi Dhawan and R K Singh have shared three wickets each to leave Kerala in a miserable position with six wickets down. It was just Kerala opener Mohammed Azharuddeen who had reached double digits. Kerala will want their skipper Samson to bat for a while and ensure his side recovers from this bad start. OUT! Sachin Baby c A K Rana b R K Singh 8(33) OUT! Akshay Chandran c P K Dogra b R K Singh 0(2) OUT! Robert c P K Dogra b R K Singh 6(14)

LIVE CRICKET SCORE: Kerela 42/3 | Overs 18 | BATTING: Sachin Baby 8(31), Sanju Samson 1(20): Winning the toss, Kerala chose to bat but did not manage to have a great start. Openening batsman  Arundhadi Jagadeesh was dismissed early, in the fifth over, leaving the hosts at 16 for 1. That wicket was followed by two more dismissals and all the wickets have been taken by Himachal’s Rishi Dhawan. OUT! Arundhadi Jagadeesh c K J Singh b Rishi Dhawan 8(13) OUT! Mohammed Azharuddeen c&b Rishi Dhawan 15(31) OUT! Rohan Prem LBW Rishi Dhawan 8(13)

In their previous game, Kerala stood up to the challenge posed by the No. 1 team in the Group C which is Saurashtra and got the better of them by 45 runs. In the low scoring encounter, Karaparambil Monish was the star for the team from southern India taking 11 wickets in the match including a six-for and a fifer. Monish is the fourth highest wicket-taker this season and will hope to put in one more good performance in the final match of the group stage.

In their previous game, Himachal Pradesh were dished a cruel innings and 71-run defeat by Jharkhand. Jharkhand scored a decent 337 in their first innings but the total seemed like a rather challenging one soon into the Himachal Pradesh when Shahbaz Nadeem started tearing through the batting. Nadeem took seven wickets in the first innings and on follow on took another four giving Himachal a crushing defeat.

Squads:

Himachal Pradesh: Ankush Bains (c), Bipul Sharma, Prashant Chopra, Paras Dogra, Pankaj Jaiswal, Ronit More (wk), Abhimanyu Rana, Akash Vasisht, Ankush Bedi, Robin Bist, Rishi Dhawan, Nikhil Gangta, Ankit Kalsi, Shresth Nirmohi, Varun Sharma

Kerala: Sanju Samson (c/wk), Raiphi Gomez, Akshay Kodoth, MD Nidheesh, Sachin Baby, Nikhilesh Surendran, Nizar Niyas, Akshay Chandran, Robert Fernandez, VA Jagadeesh, Karaparambil Monish, Rohan Prem, Sandeep Warrier, Ahmed Farzeen, Fabid Ahmed