|After being put into bat first by the Ranji Champions on a seaming wicket, the visitors found themselves in all sorts of trouble, losing six top batsmen for just 97 runs off 58 overs despite a responsible 48 off 181 balls by former India opener Sujith Somasunder.|
Kerala's best partnership for the innings of 46 runs between Somasunder and wicketkeeper C M Deepak (18 off 65 balls) off 22.3 overs for the second wicket was recorded just before the rout set in.
Somasunder, who has also opened batting for Karnataka before switching to Kerala, hit five boundaries in his 247 minutes stay at the wicket before being the sixth man out when Mumbai wicketkeeper Vinayak Samant caught him off Patel for a well made 48.
Though Sreekumar Nair (21 off 54 balls) and Ajay Kumar (16 off 10 balls) managed to get starts but could not convert them into big scores against some sustained bowling spells by Patel, Malvi, Powar and skipper and leg-spinner Sairaj Bahutule (one for 36).
However, Kerala bowlers did well to send back Mumbai opening batsman Vinayak Mane for a duck with just 15 runs on the board off eight overs. Wasim Jaffer (3) and Bahutule (5) were at the crease when the stumps were drawn.
In another match played in Kolkata between Bengal and Hyderabad veteran off-spinner Utpal Chatterjee picked up five wickets as Bengal restricted Hyderabad to 223 for seven on the first day of the four-day Elite Group 'B' Ranji Trophy match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Electing to bat first, Hyderabad lost four wickets in the morning session, thanks to a fine spell by Bengal spinners, before Ibrahim Khaleel (batting 50) and Arjun Yadav (45) added valuable 88 runs in the fifth wicket to salvage the visitors.
With the two looking steady at the crease, Chatterjee gave a further blow to the Hyderabad innings picking up three wickets in quick succession to restrict the visitors to 223 for seven at close.
Wicketkeeper batsman Khaleel and Vishnu Vardhan Rao (batting 10) were at the crease when the stumps were drawn. Yadav, son of former Test cricketer Shivlal Yadav, played a few shots (six fours and a six) in his innings while Khaleel's 50 came with only three fours in 190 balls.
Earlier, both the teams were boosted by the induction of India 'A' players Bengal skipper Rohan Gavaskar and Hyderabad willower A T Rayudu, but the visitors suffered a jolt due to indisposition of captain, former Test spinner L Venkatapathi Raju, who caught a fever last night.
Bengal, desperate to cull some points from the crunch tie to save relegation, effected three changes including Gavaskar while Hyderabad inducted Rayudu and Rao in place of Anirudh Singh and Raju.
Chatterjee, who had not been impressive in earlier matches, raised hopes for the hosts on the first day taking five wickets for 44 runs. It was his 30th five-wicket haul in Ranji Trophy matches.