Monday, Nov 10, 2003
Front Page |
Southern States |
Other States |
Advts: Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |
By Our Sports Reporter
Punjab, which declared its first innings at its overnight score of 541 for seven, had the host on a tight leash this morning but by evening, Kerala appeared to be slowly wriggling out of trouble, with the team's professional player C. Hemant Kumar (61, 205 balls, 5x4) and captain Sunil Oasis (50 batting, 144 balls, 7x4) playing sensibly and to a plan. The host had made 213 for four when fading light brought the penultimate day's play to an early close.
Caution, care and patience were the key words today as Kerala set about the task of making a decent reply to Punjab's massive total.
Play began half hour late owing to overnight rain but just forty minutes into the morning, C.M. Deepak (9) edged one to Pankaj Dharmani at slips off Vineeth Kumar.
Forty minutes later, Sujith Somasunder (27, 46 balls, 2x4), the host's top run machine last season and the other professional star in the team, who was shaping up nicely, was trapped leg before by offspinner Rajesh Sharma.
Thrilled at the two dismissals, Punjab set up an attacking field and applied pressure on the host boys. Rajesh Sharma gave the team the next wicket too, an hour after lunch. Vipin Lal (26 off 102 balls, 3x4), who set up a 47-run partnership with C. Hemant Kumar, was caught by Ravneet Ricky at silly point (104 for three).
Clearly under pressure to avoid a collapse and a possible follow-on, Kerala's two experienced stars, the left-handed Hemant and Sunil Oasis defended dourly after that, nudging and plodding and frustrating the Punjab bowlers. Slowly, and with a lot of care, the two opened up a bit, reached their half-centuries and established the day's best stand, 89 runs for the fourth wicket on the slow pitch.
But just when the team appeared to be settling down, fast bowler Vineeth Sharma sent one that broke Hemant's off stump and fetched him his second scalp of the day.
"Hemant missed it completely,'' said Sunil Oasis who watched in horror from the other end. "We have to show a lot of patience now and play out the day tomorrow and deny Punjab the first innings points,'' added the home captain. Sunil Oasis and his deputy, Sreekumar Nair (batting 10) were at the crease at close. Punjab bowlers Vineeth Sharma and Rajesh Kumar shared the four wickets that fell today.
"It was a bit disappointing today. Our bowlers tried their best but it's a dead wicket. The wicket could have settled down because of the moisture after yesterday's rain. Now, we'll have to go all out tomorrow for the first innings points,'' said the Punjab captain Dinesh Mongia.
Punjab 1st innings: 541 for seven decl.
Kerala 1st innings: 213 for four in 90 overs (Sujith Somasunder 27, Vipin Lal 26, C. Hemant Kumar 61, Sunil Oasis (batting) 50)
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |
Copyright © 2003, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of