India international Umesh Yadav made the most of the green track at the Krishnagiri Stadium, Wayanad claiming 7/48
India international Umesh Yadav made the most of the green track at the Krishnagiri Stadium, Wayanad claiming 7/48

India international Umesh Yadav made the most of the green track at the Krishnagiri Stadium, Wayanad claiming 7/48, helping Vidarbha bundle out Kerala for a mere 106 on day one of the 1st semi-final of the Ranji Trophy 2018-19 season on Thursday.

Vidharbha then proceeded to take a 65-run lead, but a late fightback by Kerala bowlers meant the defending champions lost five wickets en route to scoring 171 runs.

The luck of the toss went Faiz Fazal’s way and he had no hesitation in putting the hosts in to bat and Yadav got the first breakthrough as early as the fourth over removing Kerala opener and wicketkeeper batsman Mohammed Azharuddeen for eight.

Kerala, who had beaten Gujarat in the quarter-finals on the same track on the back of their pacers terrific performance despite losing the toss, slumped to 40/5 in the 12th over.

After the first wicket, Yadav accounted for one down batsman Sijumon Jospeh, who had scored a half century against Gujarat, for a seven-ball duck before Rajneesh Gurbani broke through opener Ponnam Rahul’s defenses, scalping him for nine off 29 balls.

Yadav added two more to his kitty in his first spell claiming Vinoop Manoharan (0) and KB Arun Karthick (4).

Gurbani added the wicket skipper Sachin Baby who managed to add 22 off 33 balls. With the fall of the seventh wicket – Jalaj Saxena for 7 taken by Yadav – Kerala found themselves starting down the barrel but Vishnu Vinod’s 50-ball unbeaten 37-run knock helped Kerala go past the 100-run mark.

Yadav claimed two more wickets in the form of Basil Thampi (10) and Sandeep Warrier (0), before Gurbani closed out the innings with the wicket of MD Nidheesh (6). Yadav finished with his best First-Class figures while Gurbani returned 3/38.

In reply, even though Nidheesh send back opener Sanjay Ramaswamy for 19, experienced hand Fazal and Wasim Jaffer blunted the Kerala attack, adding 70 runs for the second wicket. In the process, Jaffer crossed the 1000-run mark this season, making him the only player in the history of the tournament to notch up two 1000 plus-runs season.

Jaffer was removed by Nidheesh in the 25th over for 34. Fazal and 18-year-old Atharva Taide then added 57 runs for the third wicket, but with the skipper departing for 75 off Warrier, Kerala got the opening.

Warrier added the scalp of Taide for 23 while Thampi removed nightwatchman Gurbani (0) to signal the end of the day’s play. Vidharbha lost their three wickets for just one run.

Brief Scores: Vidarbha 171/5 (Faiz Fazal 75; Sandeep Warrier 2/46) lead Kerala 106 (Vishnu Vinod 37*; Umesh Yadav 7/48) by 65 runs