Kerala narrowly escaped a draw in Jaipur on Friday. This was made possible largely because of two men – one scoring an unbeaten 81 and the other two not out. Kerala got a point each from Sachin Baby (139b, 8×4, 1×6) and MD Nidish (38b) in their drawn Ranji Trophy match with Rajasthan.
The visitors had to bat in almost three sessions or go for a challenging target of 395 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. They went for the latter option at first, but once the cream of the batting line-up was back in the dressing room, they tried to save the game.
It seemed a tough ask when Kerala were reduced to 269 for eight. But Baby and Nidhish put their wickets at a very high price as they played around 18 overs.
It was indeed an outstanding effort from Baby, who had done a similar rescue work in Kerala’s first innings scoring 133 not out.
Kerala had a chance of a commendable victory when Baby and skipper Sanju Samson (69, 53b, 6×4, 3×6) were batting together. He added 89 runs in just 71 balls for the fourth wicket.
Earlier, Rajasthan started their second innings at 278 for five and batted out 10 overs to post 363 for eight before declaration. Deepak Hooda remained unbeaten on 155 (155b, 10×4, 4×6).
Kerala will play its next four matches at home in Thiruvananthapuram. He will face Chhattisgarh from December 27. Rajasthan, who got three points from this match on the basis of first innings lead, will travel to Puducherry for their next game.
In Group C, Chhattisgarh is on top with 13 points, followed by Karnataka with 10 points. Kerala is third with seven points and Rajasthan is fourth with four points.
Rajasthan 1st innings: 337
Kerala 1st innings: 306.
Rajasthan second innings: Yash Kothari b Jalaj 24, Abhijeet Tomar lbw b Sijomon 68, Mahipal Lomror c Shaun b Jalaj 0, Salman Khan b Jalaj 0, Ashok Menaria c Rahul b Thampi 19, Deepak Hooda (not out) 155, Kunal Rathor c sub (Krishna Prasad ) ) b Sijoman 75, Manav Suthar b Akshay 2, Kamlesh Nagarkoti c Shaun b Akshay 4, Arafat Khan (not out) 0; extras (B-9, LB-4, W-3) 16; Total (8 wickets down in 88 overs): 363.
Fall of wickets: 1-47, 2-47, 3-49, 4-94, 5-16, 6-334, 7-344, 8-352.
Kerala bowling: Thampi 6-0-27-1, Jalaj 24-2-93-3, Phanus 17-2-66-0, Nidhish 11-2-38-0, Sijoman 18-0-71-2, Akshay 11 -0-51-2, Sean 1-0-4-0.
Kerala second innings: Rohan Prem b Suthar 0, Jajal Saxena c Salman b Aniket 16, P Rahul c Rathor b Arafat 64, Shaun Roger c Kamlesh b Aniket 9, Sanju Samson c Menaria b Suthar 69, Sachin Baby (not out) 81, Akshay Chandran c Menaria B Hooda 3, Sijoman Joseph St Rathor b Lomror 28, Basil Thampi lbw b Suthar 12, MD Nidish (n) 2; extras (b-4, lb-2, w-3, nb-6) 15; Total (for eight wickets in 68 overs): 299.
Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-23, 3-49, 4-138, 5-182, 6-189, 7-246, 8-269.
Rajasthan bowling: Aniket 13-3-39-2, Suthar 24-2-103-3, Hooda 9-0-49-1, Nagkoti 9-0-39-0, Arafat 3-0-25-1, Lomror 8 -0-27-1, Tomar 2-0-11-0