Apart from paceman Sreesanth, who gave away just 28 runs in his 10.1 overs, Sandeep Warrier (2/38) and CP Shahid (2/13) took two wickets apiece after Kerala invited visitors to bat.
Jharkhand Wicket-keeper Shiv Gautam was the highest scorer for them with his 30-run knock while Rameez Nemat (21) Sunny Gupta (20) were the notable scorer.
Kerala then made a strong reply, ending the day a comfortable 165 for one after losing opener A Hegde in the first ball of the innings.
V Jagadessh (77) and Robert Fernandez (86) were at the crease when stumps were drawn for the day.
Jharkhand 1st innings: 120 all out in 32.1 overs. (S Gautam 30; S Sreesanth 4/28)
Kerala 1st innings: 165 for 1 in 55 overs.(R Fernandez 86 not out; Jaskaran Singh 1/45).