Elite B Round 5

Kerala were 27/1 in 11 overs at stumps on the third day on Saturday, chasing 369 to win against Tamil Nadu in their round 5 match of Ranji Trophy, Group B.

K B Arun Karthick (on 12) and Sijomon Joseph (1) were at the crease at close of play.

Tamil Nadu declared their second innings at 252/7, riding on half-centuries from captain Baba Indrajith (92) and M Kaushik Gandhi (59) to set the visitors a daunting target.

The home team bowlers came to the fore to dismiss Kerala for 152 in the first innings in response to TN’s 268 early this morning as the visitors could add only one run to the overnight score. Rahil Shah removed Sijomon Joseph (29) to finish with 4 for 32.

Left-arm medium-pacer T Natarajan ended with three wickets and R Sai Kishore had two scalps.

Tamil Nadu started the second innings in a brisk fashion as southpaw Abhinav Mukund and Kaushik Gandhi appeared to be on the lookout for runs.

Mukund hit half a dozen boundaries and looked good for a big one, before offspinner Jalaj Saxena had him caught behind by Vishnu Vinod for 33 (43 balls),having added 55 runs for the opening wicket.

Baba Aparajith (4) didn’t last long and fell to a catch by Vishnu Vinod of Sandeep Warrier.

Gandhi (59) was involved in a 78-run partnership for the third wicket with skipper Baba Indrajith, who followed up his first innings knock of 87 with another classy effort.

Indrajith (92, 148 balls) hit six boundaries and fell in the quest for quick runs, missing out on a ton.

The experienced Dinesh Karthik, back in the squad after being part of the national T20 team in Australia, failed for a second time, caught by Arun Karthick of left-arm spinner Sijomon Joseph for 1.

N Jagadeesan (19) fell at the stroke of tea, nicking one to the ‘keeper off Warrier, but the overall lead had passed 300 by then.

Debutant M Shahrukh Khan, who made a quick 34 to follow up his first innings knock of 92 not out, was involved in a 62-run partnership with Indrajith for the sixth wicket.

Both fell in quick succession, following which Tamil Nadu declared, leaving Kerala 369 for a victory.

Kerala lost the experienced Jalaj Saxena (12) early in the chase when he gave a catch to Indrajith off Natarajan’s bowling.

Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 268 and 252/7 (B Indrajith 92, Kaushik Gandhi 59; Sijomon Joseph 4/51) vs Kerala 152 and 27 for 1