Thiruvananthapuram: Fine hundreds by Kunal Chandela and Nitish Rana helped Delhi earn a draw with Kerala in their Ranji Trophy Elite Group A match at the St Xavier's College Ground, Thumba, on Thursday. Delhi, who were forced to follow on, had reached 395/4 when the match was called off.
Resuming on 142/1, Delhi lost captain Dhruv Shorey in the first hour of play. Off-spinner Jalaj Saxena sent back Shorey for 20.
Chandela (125) found an able ally in Rana and the two kept the Kerala bowlers at bay for close to 30 overs. The two added 118 runs for the third wicket.
Chandela was dismissed by pacer Sandeep Warrier. The right-handed opener's watchful 219-ball stay at the crease was studded with 11 fours and a six.
Rana continued the fight in the company of Jonty Singh. Southpaw Rana was the more of aggressive of the two, while Jonty was happy to play second fiddle.
Rana brought up his fifth first class hundred. The 25-year-old hit 11 fours and four sixes in his 164-ball knock.
Saxena provided the breakthrough by castling Rana.
Jonty (30 not out) and Lalit Yadav (13 not out) denied Kerala any further success.
Kerala, who had gained a huge first innings lead of 383, will be disappointed with their bowling performance in the second essay. Saxena, who claimed 6/63 to wreck the Delhi first innings, and the rest of the bowlers could not make much of an impression on the final day.
Kerala picked up three points, while Delhi got one from the season opener.
Kerala captain Sachin Baby, who smashed 155, was declared man of the match.
Kerala next host Bengal at the same venue from December 17.
Brief scores: Kerala 525/9 declared drew with Delhi 142 and 395/4 in 112 overs (Kunal Chandela 125, Nitish Rana 114, Anuj Rawat 87; Jalaj Saxena 2/119).
Points: Kerala 3; Delhi 1.