Ranji Trophy: Mumbai gain upper hand after Kerala's stunning collapse

Sachin Baby
Sachin Baby drives one through the off side. Photo: Special Arrangement

Thiruvananthapuram: Mohit Avasthi's seven-wicket haul and an unbeaten century partnership by openers Jay Bista and Bhupen Lalwani put Mumbai on top in their  Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match against Kerala at the St Xavier's College Ground, Thumba, on Saturday. The visitors who eked out a seven-run first innings lead, ended the second day on 105/0.

Bista (59 batting) and Lalwani (41 batting) scored at a fair clip to consolidate Mumbai's position.

Hosts Kerala suffered a sensational batting collapse in the post-lunch session to concede the first innings lead. Kerala, who were sitting pretty at 221/4, lost their last six wickets for just 23 runs to hand Mumbai a slender lead. Medium-pacer Avasthi claimed 7/57 for the visitors.

Opener Rohan Kunnummal (56) and senior batter Sachin Baby (65) struck fifties, while captain Sanju Samson made 38.

Kunnummal and Krishna Prasad put on 46 for the first wicket. Krishna Prasad was dismissed by Avasthi for 21. 

Veteran batter Rohan Prem fell for a duck in his hundredth first-class game as Avasthi accounted for him. The 37-year-old left-hander got out off the fourth ball he faced.

Sanju Samson
Kerala captain Sanju Samson in action. Photo: Special Arrangement

Kunnummal and Sachin steadied the innings with 61-run partnership for the third wicket. The right-handed Kunnummal was cleaned up by Shivam Dube. He hit eight fours in his 77-ball knock.

Sachin and Sanju added 61 runs before the latter fell to Shams Mulani. Sachin continued the good work along with Vishnu Vinod as the two put on 51 for the fifth wicket. But once Avasthi trapped Vishnu in front of the wicket for 29, it all went wrong for the home side.

Brief scores: Mumbai 251 & 105/0 in 26 overs (Jay Bista 59 batting, Bhupen Lalwani 41 batting) vs Kerala 244 in 55.2 overs (Sachin Baby 65, Rohan Kunnummal 56; Mohit Avasthi 7/57).

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