Kerala stun Baroda to keep hopes alive

Beaten by Mumbai the day before, Kerala came out all guns blazing against Baroda, winning by four wickets at the Wankhede Stadium. Raiphi Gomez played a big hand in pulling down the two-time champion, smashing an unbeaten 47 off 21 balls in tandem with Prasanth Padmanabhan (17 off seven balls). Kerala chased down 160 in 19.4 overs.

Irfan Pathan backed himself to rattle 35 not out from 18 balls, stroking three fours, two sixes before the overs ran out.   -  M. A. SRIRAM (File picture)

Beaten by Mumbai the day before, Kerala came out all guns blazing against Baroda, winning by four wickets at the Wankhede Stadium. Raipi Gomez played a big hand in pulling down the two-time champion, smashing an unbeaten 47 off 21 balls in tandem with Prasanth Padmanabhan (17 off seven balls). Kerala chased down 160 in 19.4 overs.

Snatching victory

Kerala’s come-from-behind victory, from 15 for three in the fifth over, queered the pitch for three out of four teams in the Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 Super League. Mumbai assumed top position with a second consecutive win (eight points), getting the better of a nervous Vidarbha (zero) on Saturday, and take on Baroda (four) in the concluding Pool A game on Monday. Kerala (four) and Vidarbha clash in the other tie.

>Kerala v Baroda: Full scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Gomez slammed three fours and three sixes against a bowling line-up featuring T20 specialists Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, Yusuf Pathan, and Hardik Pandya. Left-arm spinner Swapnil Singh emerged the most successful bowler with a brace of wickets; his teammates could do little when the Kerala strokeplayers got to work. Nikhilesh Surendran (36 off 32 balls) at number four and Sachin Baby (44 off 35 balls) kept the chase going.

Kerala skipper Baby opted to field after winning the toss and the bowlers backed the captain by restricting the mavericks in the Baroda line-up. Sandeep Warrier sent back Deepak Hooda (32 off 16 balls) and Farid Ahmed snared Yusuf Pathan. Prasanth Padmanabhan struck a double blow by claiming in-form opener Kedar Devdhar and the destructive Hardik Pandya (16 off 15 balls, 3x4).

Irfan’s impact

Irfan Pathan backed himself to rattle 35 not out from 18 balls, stroking three fours and two sixes before the overs ran out.

Baroda appeared on course for victory with the top-order gone. Nikhilesh and Baby kept up the Kerala hopes, then Gomez put on his show of confidence, the winning runs coming via a six.

>Vidarbha v Mumbai: Full scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Shreyas Iyer (86 off 51 balls, 4x4, 6x6) enjoyed two lives in an typically aggressive knock as opener as the home team, Mumbai, (182 for five) overhauled Vidarbha’s 181 in 18.5 overs and boosted their points tally to eight after the second league tie.

Brief scores:

Baroda 160 for six in 20 overs (Kedar Devdhar 31, Deepak Hooda 32, Irfan Pathan 35 not out, Prasanth Padmanabhan two for 15) lost to Kerala 164 for four in 19.4 overs (Nikhilesh Surendran 36, Sachin Baby 44, Raipi Gomez 47 not out, Irfan Pathan two for 14) by six wickets.

Vidarbha 181 for four (Jitesh Sharma 56, Ganesh Satish 25, Apoorva Wankhede 36 not out, Sagar Trivedi two for 44) lost to Mumbai 182 for five in 18.5 overs (Shreyas Iyer 86, Aditya Tare 41, Ravi Thakur two for 32) by five wickets.