Kannur: Kerala`s Sanju Samson continued his impressive start to the Ranji Trophy season as he smashed his second century of the tournament against Andhra to lift his side to 236 for four in their Group C match here on Thursday.
After hosts elected to bat, Samson, who hit a scintillating 211 against Assam in the season opener, stroked a brilliant 115 off 281 balls while wicketkeeper Nikhilesh Surendran scored 66 in 121 deliveries to set up a platform for a imposing first innings total.
Samson`s fourth first-class century was laced with 12 boundaries and two sixes and the 18-year-old shared important partnerships with opener Surendran and Robert Fernandez of 111 and 95 runs respectively.
Samson was dismissed by left-arm spinner G Shankara Rao (1/72) while D P Vijaykumar bagged two for 34 in his 16 overs.
Fernandez (39) remained unbeaten alongside skipper Sachin Baby (2) at the end of first day`s play at Conor Vayal Stadium here.
In another Group C match in Agartala, splendid bowling from Himachal Pradesh pacers Vikramjeet Malik (5/37) and Rishi Dhawan (4/32) saw Tripura bowled out for meagre 141 on the opening day.
The new ball pair of Malik and Dhawan wrecked Tripura`s batting order at regular intervals stamping their skipper`s decision to bowl first at Maharaja Bir Bikram College Stadium.
The duo bowled a stifling line and length giving away just 69 runs in the 41.3 overs between them, including 22 maidens.
Right-handed batsman Abhijit Dey showed some resolve as he made 66 off 194 deliveries on a pitch Tripura batsmen found the going tough. Opener K B Pawan (22) was the second-best scorer and was involved in a 39 run partnership for the second wicket - the highest for them.
Dey`s half century knock comprised of 13 fours.
Himachal, in reply, were 26 for one - 115 runs behind - at the close of play with opener Prashant Chopra (13) and Paras Dogra (3) still at the crease.