16-year-old Apple Tom sizzles on Ranji Trophy debut | Cricket News

Sixteen-year-old Edhen Apple Tom couldn’t have dreamt of a better start to his first-class career. The pacer made a sensational debut for the Kerala senior side on Thursday by claiming a wicket of the first ball he bowled in Ranji Trophy, before adding three more to help his side bundle out Meghalaya for a paltry 148 on Day 1 of their Elite Group ‘A’ encounter in Rajkot. Apple Tom finished with highly impressive figures of 4/41 from his nine overs and would have finished with a five-wicket haul had wicketkeeper Vishnu Vinod held on to a difficult chance that came off his bowling.
Rohan Kunnummal and Rahul P then piled on Meghalaya’s misery by slamming a double century stand for the opening wicket. Rohan slammed 107 (17×4, 1×6) from just 97 balls before perishing towards the fag end of the day. His partner, Rahul, was nine runs short of a ton as Kerala ended a day of domination at 205 for one.
But the first two sessions belonged to Apple Tom. With Kerala opting to bowl after fielding a four-man pace attack, Apple Tom had to wait till the 14th over to get the red cherry in his hand. After left-arm seamer U Manu Krishnan gave Kerala the initial breakthrough, Meghalaya seemed to be recovering with Kishan Lyngdoh and Chirag Khurana putting on 44 for the second wicket. However, Apple Tom’s introduction changed the complexion of the game. He first had Kishan edging it to Rahul at second slip before having Chirag caught behind in his third over. His first spell made for impressive reading at 5-0-26-2. He returned after lunch and dismissed Dippu Sangma and Akash Choudhary in successive overs to cap off a fine debut.
While Manu Krishnan claimed two more wickets, comeback man S Sreesanth, playing first-class cricket after nine years, polished off the tail with wickets in successive deliveries.
Kerala’s player of the day, Apple Tom, was jubilant after his performance. “While travelling to the ground in the morning, I was visualising that I should land my first delivery on a good spot and try to pick a wicket. I am glad that I could execute what I had planned. Now my target is to pick a fifer in the second innings. But I understand that wickets won’t come easy and I have to work hard to earn them,” Apple Tom told TOI from Rajkot.
Brief scores: Meghalaya 148 all out in 40.5 overs. (Punit Bist 93,; Edhen Apple Tom 4/41, Unnikrishnan Manukrishnan 3/34, S Sreesanth 2/40) vs Kerala 205/1 (Rohan Kunnummal 107, Ponnan Rahul 91 not out; Chirag Khurana 1/44)

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