Ranji Trophy: Kerala takes first innings lead, are in strong position

Earlier, resuming at their overnight score of 134 for 7, Vidarbha were shot out for 138 in their first innings. For Kerala medium pacers Sony Cheruvathur (5/47) and Prashant Parameswaran (4 for 22) captured nine wickets between them and the lone wicket went into the credit of left-arm spinner Sreekumaran Nair.

Jagadeesh had scored a century against Jammu and Kashmir in their previous match at the same ground. Replying to the paltry Vidarbha score, Kerala openers, batted sensibly and did not venture for any adventurous strokes. But when it seemed that the duo will take Kerala to a big total, Vidarbha bowlers struck regularly and Kerala lost three more wickets for the addition of 28 runs.

However, experienced Nair and Rakesh, wrested back the initiative by realising unbroken 45 runs for the fifth wicket, to help Kerala take the vital first innings lead. For Vidarbha S B Wagh captured 2 for 21 while U T Yadav and Sheikh grabbed one wicket each.

Brief scores: Vidarbha (Ist innings) 138 (A Kolhar 51, Sony Cheruvathur5/47, Parameswaran 4/22) Kerala (Ist innings) 177/4 (at close of Play) (A Hegde 45, V A Jagadeesh 67, S B Wagh 2/21).

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