Ranji Trophy: Kerala start off with innings win

Vathsal Govind
Vathsal Govind became the third centurion of the Kerala innings. Photo: KCA

Rajkot: Kerala scored an emphatic innings and 166-run win over Meghalaya in their opening Elite Group A match of the Ranji Trophy here on Saturday. Meghalaya, who conceded a 357-run lead, were bowled out for 191 in their second innings in the final session on the third day.

As in the first innings, the Kerala pacers did the bulk of the job. Basil Thampi calimed 4/43, while Edhen Apple Tom scalped two and Manu Krishnan picked up one wicket. Off-spinner Jalaj Saxena returned figures of 3/28. S Sreesanth went for 57 runs in his nine overs.

C G Khurana top-scored with 75, while Dippu scored an unbeaten 55.

Debutant Edhen was named man of the match for his match haul of 6/71 (4/41 & 2/30).

Earlier, Vathsal Govind became the third centurion of the innings as Kerala gained a huge first innings lead. Resuming on 454/8, Kerala declared their first innings on 505/9.

The 22-year-old Vathsal remained unbeaten on 106. It was the right-hander's maiden first-class hundred in just his second game. He hit eight fours and a six in his 193-ball knock.

Openers Rahul P (147) and Rohan S Kunnummal (107) had already smashed hundreds to put Kerala in the driver's seat.

Kerala next meet Gujarat on February 24 (Thursday). Madhya Pradesh are the other team in the group.

Brief scores: Meghalaya 148 & 191 in 53/5 overs (C G Khurana 75, Dippu 55 not out; Basil Thampi 4/43, Jalaj Saxena 3/28) lost to Kerala 505/9 declared in 140.4 overs (Rahul P 147, Rohan S Kunnummal 107, Vathsal Govind 106 not out). 

Points: Kerala 7; Meghalaya 0.

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