Samson century props up Kerala
Kerala 236 for 4 (Samson 115) v Andhra
Sanju Samson delivered another example of his ability to rise to the occasion. His second successive first-class century led Kerala to a respectable 234 for 4 at the end of the first day of their second-round match against Andhra in Kannur.
Kerala's decision to bat first seemed ill-advised after VA Jagadeesh fell for 5. Samson walked in with his team at 16 for 1, a situation quite similar to the last match against Assam when he notched up a double century. With N Surendran for company, the duo steered Kerala to safer ground, collecting their respective half-centuries along the way.
However, Kerala received a double jolt when Surendran and Rohan Prem were dismissed with the score on 127. Samson, though, commandeered the recovery effort and raised his fourth first-class century, with 12 fours and two sixes as well.
Seamer Paidikalva Vijayakumar was the most successful bowler on the day, accounting for the early wicket and halting the 111-run partnership between Samson and Surendran by trapping the latter lbw. The game was returned to even ground when Samson holed out with nearly nine overs left in the day's play.
Goa 281 for 8 (Vaz 99, Dayal 3-66) v Jammu & Kashmir
Goa were in dire straits after choosing to bat first as Swapnil Asnodkar failed to consolidate on his century from the opening match and bagged a four-ball duck. The situation turned worse when Rohan Belekar and Reagan Pinto were dismissed off consecutive balls in the 11th over, leaving Goa at 21 for 3. Desai and captain Ravikant Shukla held fort with a fifty partnership. Desai eked out a steady half-century, with 10 fours and a six but the partnership ended when Shukla was trapped lbw for 32.
With the score at a precarious 80 for 4, Vaz answered with a counterattack, whittling off 15 fours and put up 87 with Desai, whose innings was ended by offspinner Parvez Rasool for 71. Vaz sped towards his maiden first-class hundred on the other end. However, one short of the landmark, he had his stumps rearranged by Mohammed Mudhasir. Seamer Ram Dayal was Jammu and Kashmir's best bowler, claiming 3 for 66, but No. 9 Saurabh Bandekar compiled a brisk 39 off 59 balls, with five fours as the ninth wicket partnership pushed Goa to 281 before stumps.
Tripura 141 (Dey 66, Malik 5-37, Dhawan 4-32) v Himachal Pradesh 26 for 1
Seamers Vikramjeet Malik and Rishi Dhawan ripped through Tripura's batting line-up, sharing nine wickets between them in Agartala as the home side were bundled out for 141. Malik claimed his 15th five-wicket haul in first-class cricket, and was miserly as well, costing only 37 runs in 21 overs.
A patient half-century from Abhijit Dey was responsible for the bulk of Tripura's total. However he had little support as seven batsmen fell for single-digit scores. There were two brief stands - for the second and the fourth wickets - which promised to shore up the home side - both featuring Dey - but Dhawan did not let either of them flourish. Dey's resistance continued, though, as he shepherded the total past 100, but with already five wickets down things were always dicey.
Tripura lost their final four wickets for six runs, including Dey, for 66, who nicked off Malik and in his subsequent over the seamer had Manisankar Murasingh lbw to claim his fifth wicket. Himachal's dominance suffered a minor blip before end of play when Sangram Singh was caught with only four overs to go for stumps.
Assam 181 for 5 (Roy 85*, Shinde 3-49) v Hyderabad
An adamant, unbeaten half-century from Sibsankar Roy formed the backbone of Assam's innings, but they were largely kept quiet by the Hyderabad bowlers, particularly offspinner Amol Shinde who finished with figures of 3 for 49.
Roy and Tarjinder Singh contributed 91 runs for the third wicket but both batsmen were striking at well under 40. However, Assam were struck a blow when Tarjinder was run-out for 41 which manifested into a greater wound when barely a few minutes till close of play, Shinde removed Niraj Patel and Arlen Konwar off successive balls. Assam will look to Roy, who is still at the crease on 85, to carry them to a competitive first innings total.