New Delhi: Kerala opener VA Jagadeesh remained unbeaten on 199 as his team was dismissed for 314 runs in their first innings against Services at Palam. Hosts Services reached 84 with the loss of two wickets when stumps were drawn on day two with skipper Soomik Chatterjee (27) and Soumya Ranjan Swain (30) unbeaten at the crease. Kerala pacer Sandeep Warrier took two early wickets removing opener Nakul Verma (3) and Ansul Gupta (15).
Resuming on the overnight score of 192 for 5, Jagadeesh and wicketkeeper batsman Akshay Kodoth played cautiously and stitched together a 58-run stand for the sixth wicket. Nishan Singh gave Services the first breakthrough of the day when he scalped Kodoth for 32. Kodoth nicked an outside off delivery straight to wicketkeeper Sarabjit Singh’s gloves.
Part-timer Rajat Paliwal dismissed Chovvakkaran Shahid for 7 runs while Suraj Yadav, who took two crucial wickets on day one, claimed Perumparambath Anthaf for a duck. Anthaf couldn’t read the in-swinger by Yadav and lost his middle stump. Kerala were 273 for 8 going into lunch with Jagadeesh (167) and Prashanth Parmeshwaran (5) at the crease.
With just two wickets in hand, Jagadeesh came out in an aggressive manner after lunch, smashing three fours in one Shoumik Chatterjee over and took the team’s total past 300. The last two batsmen Parmeshwaran and Warrier departed for 10 and 0 respectively with Jagadeesh stranded on 199 in the middle. It was the first ever instance in Ranji Trophy that a player remained not out on 199 at the end of the innings. 11 players have been out on 199 so far in Ranji Trophy history. Suraj Yadav was the pick of the bowlers for Services with figures of 4 for 95, while Nishan Singh and Shadab Nazar took two wickets each.
On a pitch with variable bounce, Services batsmen found it hard to play their strokes as they lost two wickets early. Opener Nakul Verma (3) and Ansul Gupta (15) departed in similar fashion as they nicked the ball to wicketkeeper Akshay Kodoth off the bowling of Sandeep Warrier.
After the match, Services’ skipper Soumik Chatterjee said, “I know we are two down. But we are confident to take the innings forward. Hope we will do well tomorrow and make 350 plus score. Swain and I really played cautiously after we lost our two main batsmen. I have full confidence on Swain. He is a talented and our main batsman. Hope we both can revive our team’s innings. They bowled really well today”.
On being asked about the pitch, the skipper said, “The pitch is very slow. Ball takes time to come in and it is quite difficult to make a shot selection. Our both batsmen are out due to poor shot selection.”