Nadaun: Opener P Rahul's unbeaten ton helped Kerala reach 219/5 against Himachal Pradesh at stumps on day two of the Elite Group B match at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Stadium, here on Tuesday.
After resuming the day batting at 257/7, Himachal's Ankit Kalsi (101) went on to score his fourth first-class ton. But soon he was bowled by MD Nidheesh.
Then, Pankaj Jaiswal (28) was caught by Mohammed Azharuddeen off Nidheesh's bowling. With this wicket, Nidheesh also registered his career best figures of 6/88.
Basil Thampi then scalped Gurvinder Singh (6) as he was caught by Sachin Baby and bundle out Himachal for 297.
Kerala, who came to bat in reply, lost an early wicket as V A Jagadeesh (5) was bowled by Rishi Dhawan.
Then, Sijomon Joseph (16) was dismissed by spinner Mayank Dagar.
After putting on 47 runs with opener Rahul, wicketkeeper-batsman Azharuddeen (40) was caught by Ankush Bains.
Kerala skipper Sachin Baby (3) also did last long as he was scalped by Arpit Guleria.
Guleria struck again as he trapped Vishnu Vinod leg-before wicket with the total at 146/5.
As wickets kept falling the other end, opener Rahul (103 batting) went on to score his maiden first-class hundred.
Rahul and Sanju Samson (32 batting) were at the crease at the close of play. The duo put on 73 runs for the sixth wicket and trail Himachal by 78 runs.
Brief scores: Himachal Pradesh 297 in 96.1 overs (Kalsi 101, Rishi 58; Nidheesh 6/88) vs Kerala 219/5 in 64 overs (Rahul 103 batting, Azharuddeen 40; Guleria 2/29)