Thiruvananthapuram: Off-spinner Jalaj Saxena's six-wicket haul helped Kerala take the opening day's honors against Jharkhand in their Ranji Trophy Group B match here on Friday.
Jharkhand, who elected to bat on winning the toss in the first-ever first class match at the Greenfield International Stadium at Kariavattom, found the going tough against Kerala's outstation professional. The visitors ended the opening day on 200/9.
Sandeep Warrier drew first blood for Kerala in the third over of the day when he forced Babul Kumar to nick one to wicketkeeper Mohammed Azharuddeen for a duck.
Thereafter, Saxena took center-stage as he removed Virat Singh, opener Mohammed Nazim Siddiqui and Ishank Jaggi as Jharkhand slipped to 48/4.
Saurabh Tiwary and Ishan Kishan put on 52 for the fifth wicket before Saxena accounted for the former.
Kishan top-scored for Jharkhand with a fine 45.
Saxena returned figures of 6/50 and picked up his 13th five-for at the first class level.
Brief scores: Jharkhand 200/9 in 71 overs (Ishan Kishan 45; Jalaj Saxena 6/50)