Kerala-Andhra Ranji tie set for a tight finish

Updated: Dec 01, 2011, 20:24 PM IST

Kochi: The Kerala-Andhra Ranji trophy Plate Group A match is heading for a close finish as Kerala need just one wicket while Andhra require three runs with the last pair at the crease on the penultimate day on Thursday.

At draw of stumps, Andhra were 185 for nine with G V S Prasad batting on 21 and P D Vijaykumar on 9.

Kerala scored 130 in their first innings before bundling out Andhra for a meagre 74.

In their second essay, Kerala folded for 131 to set the visitors a target of 188 runs to win.

Resuming at an overnight second innings score of 81 for seven, Kerala got all out for 131.

The highlight of the innings was a 50 run partnership for the eighth wicket between Kodoth (30) and Sony Cheruvathur (23).

Andhra`s experienced medium-pacer Sahabuddin (3/37) and Shankar Rao (4/22) did the bulk of the damage.

Requiring 188 runs for a win, Andhra seemed to be cruising smoothly with opener Watekar (33) and Sumanth (55) chipping in with crucial runs but midway through the innings they started losing wickets at regular intervals to be left reeling at 159 for 9.

But Prasad and Vijaykumar batted sensibly to add an unbeaten 26 runs for the tenth wicket to give Andhra a hope of a victory.

Brief scores:

Kerala: 130 and 131 (Akshay Kodoth 30, S K Cheruvathur 23; S Rao 4/22, Syed Sahabuddin 3/37).

Andhra: 74 and 185 for 9 (Bodapati Sumanth 55, Hemal Watekar 33; Gomez 3/22, Prasanth 3/33).

PTI