Agartala: Sreesanth did not have a major role to play, but his return to the side coincided with Kerala’s first win of the 2012-13 Ranji Trophy season at the Maharaja Bir Bikram College Stadium on Tuesday. Kerala held the advantage going into the fourth day’s play and duly wrapped up victory by an innings and 77 runs over Tripura, with right-arm medium-pacer Sandeep Warrier taking 5 for 96.
Tripura began the day with a deficit of 203 runs, and from 70 for 3 lost wickets at regular intervals to be bowled out for 196. Three wickets fell at the score of 85, as Warrier removed Abhijit Dey and skipper Ajay Ratra in consecutive deliveries and Unnikrishnan Manukrishan – who took six in Tripura’s first innings – extracted Syed Abbas Ali for 34. Manukrishan took out Udit Patel to make it 91 for 7, before a bit of resistance from Manisankar Murasingh (67 off 79 balls), Kaushal Acharjee (20) and Rana Dutta (11) delayed the inevitable. Warrier and Manukrishan cleaned up the tail once Murasingh was out.
Sreesanth picked up the wicket of Acharjee to finish with figures of 19-7-38-2 (to go with 19-9-36-0 in the first innings) in his first competitive match for over a year. With this win, Kerala have moved to sixth place in the Group C points table while Tripura have slipped to bottom.
Brief scores: Kerala 400 beat Tripura 127 and 196 in 84.5 overs (Manisankar Murasingh 67; Sandeep Warrier 5/96) by an innings and 71 runs
At Porvorim, hosts Goa drew level with Himachal Pradesh on the points table thanks to the first-innings lead they took on Monday. A draw gave Goa three points to move to 12 alongside Himachal.
On the fourth day it was always going to be a stalemate, with Goa holding a nine-run lead over the visitors and just two wickets in hand. Neither overnight batsmen was able to add a run to the total as Vikramjeet Malik trapped Reagan Pinto (85) lbw with the second ball of the morning and Rahul Singh removed Harshad Gadekar (2) in the next over to finish with 5 for 71, his best figures of a short first-class career.
Himachal’s second innings began on a poor note as Saurabh Bandekar and Gadekar has Aakash Chopra (2) and the debutant Nikhil Gangta (5) caught behind inside ten overs. But Paras Dogra proved immovable and marched to his fifth century of the season, finishing unbeaten on 119 with Himachal at 237 for 4. Mukesh Sharma (51*) helped forge a fifth-wicket stand of 132.
Brief scores: Himachal Pradesh 338 and 237 for 4 in 71.4 overs (Paras Dogra 119*, Mukesh Sharma 51*) drew with Goa 347 in 143.3 overs (Reagan Pinto 85; Rahul Singh 5/71)
In Dhanbad, Jharkhand and Andhra played out a draw which gave the visitors three points to move to second on the points table. Andhra had taken the lead on day three thanks to Amol Muzumdar’s 180, and on Tuesday Jharkhand batted from an overnight 20 for 0 to 295 for 9 with Saurabh Tiwary missing a century by one run. A declaration set Andhra an impossible target of 143, and they slumped to 32 for 4 in ten overs before the game was called off.
Tiwary, who made 119 in the first innings, put on 129 for the third wicket with opener Akash Verma (82) before he was fourth out, lbw to offspinner Shaik Basha for 99. From 250 for 3, Jharkhand fell to 295 for 9 with Basha picking up career-best figures of 6 for 74. Shankar Rao then picked up two wickets with the new ball, followed by the spin pair of Shahbaz Nadeem and Sunny Gupta collecting one each as Andhra began their second innings on a shaky note.
Brief scores: Jharkhand: 257 and 295 for 9 in 91.3 overs (Saurabh Tiwary 99, Akash Verma 82; Shaik Basha 6 for 74). Andhra Pradesh: 410 and 32 fof 4 in 10 overs.