Ranji Trophy: Maharashtra take upper hand against Kerala

Kannur, Dec 15 (PTI) Harshad Khadiwale missed out on a century as Maharashtra posted 314 on the second day to take a 162-run first innings lead against Kerala in their Ranji Trophy Group `C` match here on Sunday.

Kerala were 23 for 0 in their second innings, still trailing Maharashtra by 140 runs at the Conor Vayal Stadium.

With two days left in the game, Maharashtra will look to bundle out the hosts as early as possible and then try to overhaul the required target to score an outright win.

Resuming on 106 for one, overnight batsman Khadiwale, starting on 67, came close to completing his well-deserved century but fell just three runs short of the mark. The opener`s 136-ball 97 was decorated with 17 hits to the fence.

Other overnight batsman Sangram Atitkar too fell two runs short of his half-century as he was dismissed by off-spinner Vinoop Manoharan for 48. The duo raised a 72-run stand for the second wicket.

Khadiwale`s wicket sparked a collapse with the next five wickets going down for just 29 runs.
Manoharan was the wrecker-in-chief picking up key Maharashtra middle-order wickets.

It was then left to Akshay Darekar and Chirag Khurana to stem the flow of wickets and repair the innings. Both adopted a cautious approach and put on a fighting 79 runs for the eighth-wicket stand.

While Khurana made an 88-ball 45, Darekar faced 163 balls for his 52.

Darekar was the last man out after taking his side past 300-mark. For Kerala, Manoharan was the most successful bowler with four for 60 while pacer Sandeep Warrier chipped in with two wickets.

The hosts started cautiously in their second innings and were 23 for 0 when stumps were drawn for the day. Nikhilesh Surendran (6 batting) and VA Jagadeesh (15) were at the crease.

Brief scores:

Kerala 151 and 23 for 0 in 10 overs (VA Jagadeesh 15 batting)

Maharashtra: 314 all out in 109.2 overs (Harshad Khadiwale 97, Akshay Darekar 52; V Manoharan 4/60).