Hosts’ Basil Thampi took full advantage of the seam conditions as Gujarat were summoned to an all-out after scoring just 81
Riding on an unpredictable pitch and a brilliant performance from Basil Thampi (5/37) and Sandeep Warrier (4/30), Kerala beat Gujarat by 113 runs qualify for the semi-finals of the Ranji Trophy for the first time in the team’s 61 year-long history.
The low-scoring quarterfinal match, which met the conclusion in just three days, saw Gujarat collapse for a paltry 81 on their way to chasing 195 runs in the second innings at the Krishnagiri Stadium, Wayanad
Basil Thampi was rightfully adjudged the Man of the Match as he finished the game with eight wickets – three of which came in the first innings while the rest of the five in the second.
Rahul V Shah, with 33 runs, was the only bright spot in an otherwise underperforming Gujarat outfit with as many as 9 players returning the pavilion with single digits. Eight of them couldn’t even cross the 5 runs threshold.
The collapse all started when the Parthiv Patel-led side was reduced to 18/4 after just nine overs.
Shah and Dhruv Raval (17) managed to bail them out of the situation briefly, scoring a 39-run partnership for the fifth wicket. However, after the departure of Raval at the hands of Basil Thampi in the 21st over, things only became difficult for Gujarat.
While Shah held his ground till the end, it was at the other end of the pitch that all the wickets were falling. Thampi and Warrier ran through Gujarat’s tail at will, concluding the match within just 32 overs.
Kerala enters #RanjiTrophy semi-finals for the first time by bowling Gujarat out twice in 80
overs in the Quarter-finals! But Sanju Samson’s broken finger is a huge blow: out for the rest of the tournament after successive scores of 91, 50 & 61, just when he was coming into form
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) January 17, 2019
The second day had been dominated by the bowlers with as many as 16 wickets being taken. Kerala had somehow managed to reached 171 runs in conditions that witnessed unusual seam movement and uneven bounce. It was Sijomon Joseph’s resilient half-century (56) with a quick-fire knock from Jalaj Saxena (44*) that helped Kerala post 171 runs.
There was late drama on the day with Sanju Samson coming out to bat as the last man with a fractured finger to help Saxena add as many runs to Kerala’s lead as possible.
Although the lead of 193 looked to be surmountable, the unusual conditions weren’t.
Kerala: (185/9 and 171) bt. Gujarat (162 and 81 all out) by 113 runs.
(Rahul V Shah 33* | Basil Thampi 5/27, Sandeep Warrier 4/30)