Monday, Jan 20, 2003
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Kerala bowled out Madhya Pradesh for just 112 this afternoon and gained a 44-run first innings lead on the second day of the five-day encounter. But the host did not have much to celebrate as it struggled to 78 for five in its second innings by close. The drama on this slow turner is now poised for a quick and interesting finish.
Fifteen wickets fell today and the batsmen were on a defensive mode for a major part.
Madhya Pradesh, 21 for no loss overnight, lost its way early this morning with fast bowlers Tinu Yohannan (two for 18) and S. Sreeshanth (two for 25) removing the top order while legspinner K.N. Ananthapadmanabhan picked three, including the prized scalps of top-scorer Amay Khurasia (42) and Devendra Bundela. Both had made a century in the last match.
And left-arm spinner M. Suresh Kumar who was brought in rather late, grabbed two wickets in his two overs today, conceding just one run.
After guest stars Sujith Somasunder, C. Hemant Kumar and wicketkeeper C.M. Deepak fell cheaply, captain Sunil Oasis (33) sparkled during his brief stay in Kerala's second essay, belting three boundaries and legspinner Narendra Hirwani for a big six.
And just when Sunil seemed to be settling down for a promising partnership with vice-captain Sreekumar Nair, offspinner Abbas Ali removed the two, much to the host's dismay. Medium-pacer Sanjay Pandey also ended the day with two wickets.
The scores: Kerala 156 and 78 for five in 36 overs (Sunil Oasis 33) v Madhya Pradesh 112 in 70.5 overs (Amay Khurasia 42, K.N. Ananthapadmanabhan three for 29). Our Sports Reporter
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