Ranji Trophy: Natarajan, Rahil wreck Kerala

Tough times
Sanju Samson's poor form continued as T Natarajan castled him for nine. File photo

Chennai: Regular strikes by Tamil Nadu bowlers T Natarajan and Rahil Shah reduced visitors Kerala to 151/9 at stumps on the second day of their Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match at the M A Chidambaram Stadium, here on Friday.

Tamil Nadu, who resumed the day at 249/6, were all out for 268 in their first innings.

Sandeep Warrier dismissed M Mohammed (29) and Sai Kishore (5) to complete his eighth five-wicket haul in first class cricket, while his new ball partner Basil Thampi removed tailenders Shah and Natarajan for ducks to wrap up the TN innings.

Debutant Shahrukh Khan remained unbeaten on 92.

Kerala lost an early wicket as opener Jalaj Saxena (4) was castled by Natarajan.

Saxena's opening partner Arun Karthick (22) was trapped in front of the wicket by left-arm spinner Shah. Sanju Samson's poor form continued as he was cleaned up by Natarajan for nine.

Kerala skipper Sachin Baby (1) was the next to go as he caught by Baba Indrajith of Shah's bowling.

Rahul P, who came in at No. 3, was dismissed by Sai Kishore after a fine knock of 59 as Kerala slumped to 97/5.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Vishnu Vinod, who hit an unbeaten 193 against Madhya Pradesh in the last game, was removed by Kishore for a duck.

V A Jagadeesh (8) was caught by Shahrukh off Shah as Kerala lost their way.

Though Sijomon Joseph fough it out with an unbeaten 28, the wickets of Akshay Chandran (14) and Thampi (2) meant TN were on the verge of gaining a big first innings lead.

Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 268 in 98 overs (Shahrukh Khan 92 not out; Baba Indrajith 87; Sandeep Warrier 5/52, Basil Thampi 4/62) vs Kerala 151/9 in 75 overs (Rahul P 59; Rahil Shah 3/32, T Natarajan 3/42).

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