Thalassery, Dec 7: Riding on Rishi Dhawan's 99-run knock, Himachal Pradesh posted 452 for eight declared in their first innings before reducing Kerala to 34 for one on the second day of their Ranji Trophy Plate Group A match here today.
Unfortunately Dhawan missed out on his century by just one run but his 168-ball 99, studded with nine hits to the fence, and his valuable 146-run partnership with Amit Kumar (51 not out) for the seventh wicket, put Himachal Pradesh in the driver's seat.
Earlier, resuming at their overnight total of 243 for two, Himachal Pradesh received a jolt as the former Test player S Sriram got out at his overnight score of five. Thereafter, they kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were 303 for six at one stage. But Dhawan found an able support in Amit and the pair took the side to a commanding position.
In reply, Kerala got off to a disastrous start, losing opener A M Hegde (2) caught by Abhinav Bali off Dhawan. However, in-form Sony Cheruvathur (not out 10) and skipper V A Jagadeesh (not out 20) held on to their wickets when stumps were drawn today. Kerala batsmen will have to come up with something extra if they want to progress further in the tournament.
Brief scores: HP 1st innings: 452 for 8 decl (Abhinav Bali 120, Rishi Dhawan 99; Rohan Prem 2/22). Kerala 1st innings: 34/1.