Thiruvananthapuram: Mayank Agarwal led Karnataka's response with an unbeaten 87 as the visitors reached 137/2 in reply to Kerala's 342 at stumps on the second day of their Ranji Trophy Elite Group C match on Wednesday.
Agarwal and Nikin Jose (16 batting) have so far added 46 runs for the third wicket.
Karnataka lost R Samarth in the very first over as he was clean bowled by off-spinner Vaisakh Chandran for a duck.
Captain Agarwal and Devdutt Padikkal steadied the innings with an 89-run stand. M D Nidheesh broke the partnership by castling Padikkal for 29.
Earlier, Sachin Baby's 141 and a fine 57 by Jalaj Saxena helped Kerala post 342 in their first innings.
Resuming on 224/6, Kerala added 118 more in the first session.
Sachin's brilliant 307-ball knock was ended by leggie Shreyas Gopal. The southpaw hit 17 fours and a six.
Sachin and Saxena added 88 for the seventh wicket.
Pacer Vasuki Kaushik picked up his fifth wicket by removing Saxena with the total on 299. Saxena's 134-ball innings contained seven fours and a six.
Captain Sijomon Joseph chipped in with 24. Nidheesh (22) and Vaisakh (12) added 25 for the last wicket.
Kaushik wrapped up the Kerala innings by trapping Nidheesh in front of the wicket to return figures of 6/54.
Brief scores: Kerala 342 in 130.1 overs (Sachin Baby 141, Jalaj Saxena 57; Vasuki Kaushik 6/54, Shreyas Gopal 2/69) vs Karnataka 137/2 in 49 overs (Mayank Agarwal 87 batting).