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Kerala toy with Goa; take lead of 224 on Day 1

Porvorim: The Goa colts showed lack of outfield practice as they were bowled out for 43 by Kerala on the first day of the Vijay Merchant (South Zone) match organised by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at the Goa Cricket Association (GCA) academy ground at Porvorim on Friday.

Kerala won the toss and opted to field and the decision exposed the chinks in Goa’s preparedness for the first match of the season as the colts crumbled without offering any resistance much before the lunch break.

In fact, Kerala ended the first session by scoring 49 for no loss – six runs more than Goa – at the lunch break. Kerala finished the day at 267 for one and have taken a lead of 224 runs.

Goa started badly, losing the first two wickets when the score was on 5 and never really recovered with only two players – Sanath Nevagi and Ayush Karapurkar able to cross the double digit mark. Apart from these two, it was literally a story of ‘slaughter of the lambs’.

“The lack of outfield practice is one reason why the boys showed raw nerves. They have been practicing indoors for most of the time and it is different. However, I do admit the fielding could have been much better. I think we gave away around 80 unnecessary runs. And, the boys need more mental preparation,” Goa coach Robin D’souza told The Navhind Times at close of play.

Sanath and Ayush who scored 15 and 16 respectively did so after facing 29 balls.

Goa’s crumble started at the fall of the first wicket when Darpan Pagui was out on the 14th ball and new man in captain Arsh followed in his first ball. At 5 for the loss of two wickets it did not appear to be the end of the story until none of the remaining were able to put up any resistance.

Four colts from Goa– Darpan Pagui, Arsh Sardesai, Pradnyesh Ganonkar and Bhagesh Rekdo – were dismissed without opening their account and Rohan Naik was the fifth player to be not out on zero.

Kerala folded Goa’s innings before 11 am and Kerala went on to score 49 for the loss of no wickets before the umpires called for lunch.

Captain Abhishek Nair was the pick of the batsmen as his well stroked 121 came off 153 balls and included 21 hits to the fence. Appu Prakash was batting on 91 at close of play along with Krishna Narayan AP who was not out on 39.

“Had we won the toss, we would have opted to field because the pitch was covered for the last three days. It was favourable to the bowlers. This is the first match of the season and therefore I do not want to read too much into this game. Let us see how they perform as the tournament progresses,” said Robin.

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