Scripting history, Kerala stormed into the semifinals of the Ranji Trophy for the first time with a 113-run win over Gujarat on the third day of the quarterfinal on Thursday.
This is the first time that the Kerala team has entered the last four stage of the prestigious tournament in over five decades. In the last season, the state made its maiden entry into the quarterfinal, but lost to Vidharbha.
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.
Gujarat didn't have the best start, losing opener Kathan D Patel in the sixth over.
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.
Thampi, who was named man of the match and Warrier finished with eight wickets each.
vidarbha on lead
Nagpur: Veteran batsman Wasim Jaffer slammed a double hundred as holders Vidarbha grabbed a massive 204-run first innings lead against Uttarakhand on the third day.
With Vidarbha's first innings yet to be completed and only two days left in the match, the hosts are all set to enter the semi-final of the coveted domestic tournament after ending the day 3 at an imposing 559 for 6.
At 260 for 1, opener Sanjay Ramaswamy (141) and Wasim Jaffer (206) resumed the innings and stitched a massive 304-run second wicket stand to completely demoralise the visiting team, playing in its debut season.
Ramaswamy, overnight unbeaten on 112, could add only 29 runs to his tally and was dismissed on 141.
But 40-year-old Jaffer kept playing his shots and in the process completed his ninth First Class double hundred, and second for Vidarbha. He was on the cynosure of all eyes, hitting 26 boundaries in his 296- ball stay at the crease.
Wicket-keeper Akshay Wadkar (98) and Aditya Sarvate (57 not out) then continued to frustrate the opposition bowlers.
Wadkar, who struck 14 boundaries in his 167-ball innings, missed a deserving century.
Sarvate and Akshay Wakhare (3 not out) were the unbeaten duo for the hosts at stumps.
Karnataka lose 3
Bengaluru: Spinners Krishnappa Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal shared seven wickets between them as Karnataka bundled out Rajasthan for 222 to set themselves a 184-run target for a place in the last four.
Off-spinner Gowtham (4/54) snared four batsmen while leg-break bowler Gopal scalped (3/52) three. Mithun picked up two wickets after conceding 26 runs.
Chasing the target, Karnataka were 45 for three in 18 overs at stumps, with Test discard Karun Nair and Ronit More, batting on 18 and five.
Aniket Choudhary rocked the the host top-order by sending back inform batsmen, Dega Nischal (1) and Krishnamurthy Siddharth (5).
Other Ravikumar Samarth (16) too did not last long as he was trapped leg before by Lomror.