Thiruvananthapuram: Sanju Samson continued his merry run against Jammu and Kashmir as the youngster's hundred (112) propped up Kerala on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy Group B match at the St Xavier's College Ground, Thumba, here on Wednesday.
Sanju scored his eighth first class hundred and third in a row against J&K in as many games to take Kerala to a first innngs total of 219. Off-spinner Parvez Rasool was the wrecker-in-chief (6/70) for the visitors. Jammu and Kashmir were 16/0 at stumps to cap a fine day.
The hosts, who elected to bat, were off to a poor start as opener Vishnu Vinod (5) and Rohan Prem (0) departed in quick succession. The in-form Jalaj Saxena (22) too fell rather cheaply as Kerala slipped to 44/3.
Sanju found an able partner in captain Sachin Baby and the duo added 47 for the fourth wicket. Rasool broke the stand by trapping Sachin (19) in front of the wicket.
Sanju and K. B. Arun Karthick added 79 runs for the fifth wicket. However, Kerala suffered a double blow when Karthick (35) and Salman Nizar (0) fell with the total on 170.
Sanju notched up his ton and took the home side past the 200-run mark in the company of Sijomon Joseph.
The 22-year-old hit 14 fours and a six in his 187-ball knock.
Earlier, Kerala made three changes from the team which beat Rajasthan in their last game. Salman replaced the injured Mohammed Azharuddeen, while K.C. Akshay came in for Akshay Chandran and Sandeep Warrier made way for Basil Thampi.
Kerala, who have 12 points from three games, are in the third spot in the seven-team group. Only the top-two sides will qualify for the quarterfinals.
Brief scores: Kerala 219 all out in 76 overs (Sanju Samson 112; Parvez Rasool 6/70) vs Jammu & Kashmir 16/0 in 12 overs.