When the openers for Kerala, P. Rahul (66 not out) and Rohan Kunnummal (40), were smashing sixes and fours at free against the spinners for Chhattisgarh, it gave the impression that they were playing a Twenty20 match for a while.
On the last day of the match, the openers for Kerala were attempting to win by scoring 126 runs, but they ended up winning the match inside the first hour after scoring 81 runs off just 63 balls. After a brief setback, the home team came back strong and cruised to a victory against Chhattisgarh by seven wickets on Friday at the KCA-St.Cricket Xavier’s stadium in Thumba. This victory gave the home team its second victory of the Ranji Trophy. The openers got off to a different start, with Rahul taking the spinners on with a flurry of boundaries while Rohan played the supporting role in the batting order.
However, very quickly, Rohan regained the timing that had eluded him throughout the first innings, and he began to play freely. In spite of this, the batsman threw away his wicket by hitting left-arm spinner Ajay Mandal for two consecutive sixes. After seeing that Rohan had stepped out for the third time, Ajay dropped the ball short and allowed Hussain, the wicketkeeper, to stump Rohan.
Sumit Ruikar (1) had Sachin Baby edge a catch to Khare at short leg, and off the very next ball, the off-spinner lost a return chance provided by Akshay Chandran, both of which were rare moments of success for Chhattisgarh in the morning. Chhattisgarh celebrated these rare moments of triumph.
Even though Akshay Chandran (10) was out of the game and Kerala was just two runs away from winning, Rahul successfully reached his half-century. Rahul sealed the victory by seven wickets with a two off Ajay’s sweep.
The victory made Kerala coach Tinu Yohanan happy, and he complimented the players on the way they handled themselves on the favourable surface. “I am thrilled with the way the guys battled back in the match. It is a fresh beginning for us, and I am glad about that.” When seen in retrospect, the fact that seven wickets were taken in the opening session on the first day made a significant impact.
I believe that F.Fanoos and N.P.Basil bowled really effectively for inexperienced medium pacers given how they performed. Both Jalaj Saxena and Vaisakh Chandran bowled quite well, but Vaisakh Chandran was particularly impressive. Sanju will most certainly not be available for the next encounter. He has had a significant impact as both the team leader and a hitter. However, it is the responsibility of the lads to seize their opportunities and do well, as he said.
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