New Delhi: Sixteen wickets fell on a dramatic day’s play at the Nehru Stadium in Kochi, and at the end of it hosts Kerala had the upper hand. Overnight on 110/6, Kerala were dismissed for 130 with Tekkami Atchuta Rao taking a career-best 6 for 43. Whatever advantage Andhra Pradesh thought they had soon dissipated as Kerala veteran Sony Cheruvatur wreaked havoc with the new ball.
Before the batsmen had their eye in, Cheruvatur had Andhra on the mat at 15 for 5. The rot began in the fifth over, when he removed the openers. After Prasanth Parameswaran sent back Gonnabattula Chiranjeevi for third-ball duck, Cheruvator sliced through the middle order. His sixth wicket came when Rao was stumped in the 29th over, leaving Andhra at 58 for 7. The end came soon after as Andhra were shot out for 74 in 36.1 overs. Before stumps, Kerala lost two wickets in seven overs with nine on the board.
It was a memorable first-class debut for Himachal Pradesh’s Amit Kumar in Dharamsala, as the 22-year-old scored an unbeaten 119 out of team total of 364 on day two. Kumar, 79 overnight, progressed to three figures while steering helping HP add 102 to their total for the loss of four wickets. Kumar faced 257 balls and his 19 fours in his maiden innings for HP. Services’ Suraj Yadav took three of the four wickets to fall on the day, after which the visitors reached 86 for 3 by stumps. Rishi Dhawan, who scored a handy 54 in alliance with Kumar, took two wickets.
Vidharbha seamer Sandeep Singh put his team in the driver’s seat early on day two in Agartala, taking two wickets to finish with 6 for 79 as Tripura slipped from an overnight 246 for 7 to 281 all out. However, by slipping to 204 for 7 Vidharbha’s chances of attaining a first-innings became tough while leaving the match interestingly poised. Their innings got off to a bad start as new-ball bowler Rana Dutta removed the openers inside nine overs. Former India opener SS Das (45), Shalabh Srivastava (37) and former international Hemang Badani (25) steadied the platform but each was dismissed without getting a big score.
Led by opener Akshat Reddy’s second first-class century, Hyderabad took a big first-innings lead over Goa at Porvorim. Having done the good work on day one – dismissing the hosts for 147 – Hyderabad built on the advantage despite a meek showing from their middle order. Reddy, overnight on 41, returned and marched towards his century. He was third out with the score 198, his contribution being 118 from 241 balls with 17 fours and a six. Bavanaka Sandeep (68) and wicketkeeper Ibrahim Khaleel (34 not out) were the other contributors.
Centuries to Amit Sinha and skipper Gokul Sharma carried Assam to a mammoth 502 against Jharkhand at Dhanbad. Sinha came into the second day on 79 and progressed to his maiden first-class century in his sixth match, while Gokul compiled the second of his career, 115 form 156 balls. Sharma put on 164 for the fifth wicket with Tarjinder Singh (75). Shahbaz Nadeem was the most successful bowler for Jharkhand with 4 for 170. In reply, Jharkhand were 25 for 2 and facing a mountain.
Maharashtra made good progress in their reply to Jammu & Kashmir’s 388, reaching stumps on day two at Ratnagiri on 204 for 2. J&K did well to add 86 runs with their last two wickets – Samiullah Beig hit 69 and Abid Nabi 37 – but their bowlers weren’t able to strike regularly. Harshad Khadiwale (43) and Chirag Khurana (81) put on 111 for the opening wicket, after which Sangram Dilp Atitkar stroked an unbeaten 56 from 77 balls by stumps.
At Kochi: Kerala 130 (Tekkami Atchuta Rao 6/30) and 9/2 (Syed Sababuddin 2/1) lead Andhra Pradesh 74 (Sony Cheruvatur 6/25) by 65 runs.
At Dharmasala: Services 86/3 in 28 overs (Rishi Dhawan 2/41) trail Himachal Pradesh 364 in 115.4 overs (Amit Kumar 119 not out, Dhawan 54; Suraj Yadav 4 for 89)
At Agartala: Vidharba 204 for 7 (SS Das 45, Shalabh Srivastava 37) trail Tripura 281 in 98.5 overs (Udit Patel 56, Sandeep Singh 6/79) by 77 runs.
At Porvorim: Hyderabad 298/6 in 116 overs (Akshat Reddy 118, Bavanaka Sandeep 68) lead Goa 147 alll out in 60.2 overs by 151 runs
At Dhanbad: Jharkhand 25/2 in 16 overs (Abu Nechim 2/6) trail Assam 502 in 165.4 overs (Amit Sinha 109, Gokul Sharma 115, Tarjinder Singh 75; Shahbaz Nadeem 4/170) by 477 runs.
At Ratnagiri: Maharashtra 204/2 in 59 overs (Harshad Khadiwale 43, Chirag Khurana 81, Sangram Dilp Atitkar 56 not out) trail Jammu & Kashmir 388 in 118.4 overs (Samiullah Beig 69, Abid Nabi 37; Akshya Darekar 5/79) by 184 runs.