Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Kerala makes history, beats Gujarat by 113 runs to enter semifinal for the first time

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New Delhi | Updated: January 17, 2019 2:41:27 PM

Today's match saw Thampi, named man of the match and Warrier finished with eight wickets each.

Kerala’s quest for a maiden semifinal berth ended with an impressive victory. (Kerala Cricket association)

Yes, history created! In a first for the state, Kerala beat Gujarat by 113 runs today to qualify for the semifinal of the ongoing Ranji Trophy. The quarter final match between the two sides ended on the third day today. Gujarat was chasing a tricky 195 against Kerala. Meanwhile, other teams like Vidarbha (260/1) are in control against Uttarakhand (355). Saurashtra (170/7) are struggling against Uttar Pradesh (385). Rajasthan (224 and 11/0) are giving Karnataka (263) stiff competition.

Kerala’s quest for a maiden semifinal berth ended with an impressive victory. Gujarat didn’t have the best start, losing opener Kathan D Patel in the sixth over. Requiring 195 to win the match, Gujarat was shot out for 81 in 31.3 overs as Basil Thampi (5 for 27) and Sandeep Warrier (4 for 30) wrecked the strong rival batting line-up.

Brief scores: Kerala 185 and 171 all out (Sijomon Joseph 56, Jalaj Saxena 44 not out, Roosh Kalaria 3 for 36, Axar Patel 3 for 40) beat Gujarat 162 all out (Parthiv Patel 43, R Kalaria 36, Sandeep Warrier 4 for 42, M D Nidheesh 3 for 38, Basil Thampi 3 for 61) and 81 all out in 31.3 overs (Rahul Shah 33 not out, Basil Thampi 5 for 27, Sandeep Warrier 4 for 30).

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Meanwhile, on the second day of the match, left-arm fast bowler Roosh Kalaria starred with a hat-trick leaving Gujarat needing 195 runs to beat Kerala and seal a Ranji Trophy semifinal berth at the end of the day of the quarterfinal on Wednesday.

Gujarat had hit back to restrict hosts Kerala to 171 in the second innings after conceding the first innings lead. A disciplined bowling effort helped the western state bowl out Kerala for 171 in 59 overs with Kalaria (3 for 36) and Axar Patel (3 for 40) sharing the spoils.

In Kerala’s second innings, Mohammed Azharudeen, who was the opener, fell for a duck in the second over and the team lost wickets at regular intervals before Sijomon Joseph (56) and Jalaj Saxena (44 not out) put on a 53 runs for the sixth wicket.

However, Kalaria took over, claiming the wickets of Joseph and Thampi with the fifth and sixth balls of the 52nd over before returning to claim the wicket of MD Nidheesh with the first ball of the 54th over to leave the Sachin-led squad in disarray.

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An injured Sanju Samson, who retired hurt in the first innings after sustaining a finger injury, came out to bat at No.11 and survived 11 balls before being LBW to Axar Patel. Samson won many hearts by batting with one hand.

Today’s match saw Thampi, named man of the match and Warrier finished with eight wickets each. Patel was bowled by Thampi, who struck a big blow in the last ball of the same over, trapping the prolific Priyank Panchal (3) to leave the visitors at 10 for 2. Left-hander Rahul Shah was the only batsman to offer resistance with a fighting knock of 33 not out (70 balls, 4X4). Gujarat skipper Parthiv Patel, probably the biggest threat for Kerala, was run out for a duck, by his opposite number (Sachin Baby).

Dhruv Raval (17) was the only Gujarat batsman other than Rahul Shah to get into double figures as the visiting side struggled on a pitch with variable bounce. The fifth-wicket partnership of 39 between Rahul Shah and Raval was the highest of the Gujarat second innings as the rest of the batting line-up struggled against the impressive Thampi and Warrier.

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