Bhubaneswar: All-rounder Iqbal Abdullah cracked his second first-class century and first for Kerala to put them on top against Hyderabad in their Ranji Trophy group C match here today.
Resuming on 223/4, Kerala lost Jalaj Saxena (79) in the 11th over of the day while Mehdi Hasan (3/134) reduced them to 312/7 but the former Mumbai all-rounder spiced it up with an entertaining 141-run partnership with No.9 K Monish (40) to take them past 450.
Abdullah slammed six sixes and 14 boundaries in his knock from 214 balls to steal the show in front of an impressive turnout mainly the university students form KIIT.
Saxena was the first to go when seamer Mohammad Siraj gave the early breakthrough.
Sachin Baby (80), resuming on 51, failed to make it big becoming Hasan's second victim after being dismissed LBW leaving Kerala at 312/7 at lunch and in danger of folding up inside 350.
But Abdulla had other ideas and his counterattacking innings with Monish playing a perfect ally.
Kerala: 506/9 in 180 overs (Iqbal Abdullah 157 batting, Sachin Baby 80, K Monish 40).