Ranji Trophy 2018-19: First win of the season for Madhya Pradesh

Requiring 191 in a possible 68 overs after Kerala’s second innings wound up at 455 well over an hour into the final day, Madhya Pradesh was steered past the winning post by its experienced one-drop Rajat Patidar.

Rajat Patidar plays a shot during Madhya Pradesh's Ranji Trophy fixture against Kerala on Saturday.   -  Special Arrangement

Madhya Pradesh found its first win of the season coasting to an easy five-wicket result over Kerala in their Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match at the St. Xavier’s stadium, Thumba, on Saturday.

Requiring 191 in a possible 68 overs after Kerala’s second innings wound up at 455 well over an hour into the final day, Madhya Pradesh was steered past the winning post by its experienced one-drop Rajat Patidar. He came up with a second half-century of the encounter while Shubham Sharma made good on his first innings failure.

Earlier resuming at 390 for eight, the Kerala pair of Vishnu Vinod and Basil Thampi continued to torment MP’s bowling in a 131-run partnership for the ninth wicket. It could not have come at a better time but after the fall of Thampi (57, 107 balls, 8 fours and 2 sixes), Vishnu Vinod was left stranded seven short of a well-deserved double century (282b, 23 fours, one six) as Sandeep Warrier, the last man in, lasted only a single delivery.

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This was quite unfortunate as Vishnu, playing only his sixth match for the State, had ensured that an innings defeat was avoided, having also fared in a huge 199-run partnership alongside skipper Sachin Baby on Friday.

Besides, his ability to put the rival bowling in its place was what swelled the Kerala scoreboard beyond 450, though Thampi’s contribution cannot be overlooked.

Aryaman Vikram Birla and Mohinish Mishra, the Madhya Pradesh openers, ensured that the side did not lose any early wicket during the run chase. However, heading to lunch, both got out in quick succession, which also gave the home side hope of pulling off an upset.

But Patidar held on bravely, made the most of two dropped catches and set his team on course to victory. Patidar made 77 (92 balls, seven fours) before Shubham and Saransh Jain completed the formalities.

Madhya Pradesh, which picked up six points for its win, now has 11 points, while Kerala is rooted on 13. It remains in second position behind Gujarat in the combined points table including teams from Pool A and will take on Tamil Nadu in Chennai in its next match starting December 6.

The scores

Kerala first innings: 63.

Madhya Pradesh first innings: 328.

Kerala second innings: K.B. Arun Karthick b Kuldeep 4, Jalaj Saxena lbw b Avesh 1, Rohan Prem lbw b Kuldeep 0, Akshay Chandran c Naman b Avesh 2, Sachin Baby c Kartikeya b Saransh 143, V.A. Jagadeesh c Naman b Mihir 26, Sanju V. Samson run out 19, Vishnu Vinod (not out) 193, K.C. Akshay c Kuldeep 1, Basil Thampi c & b Shubham 57, Sandeep Warrier c sub b Shubham 0; Extras (b-7, lb-2): 9; Total (in 121.1 overs): 455.

Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-4, 3-7, 4-8, 5-80, 6-100, 7-299, 8-320, 9-451.

Bowling: Kuldeep 23-6-69-3, Avesh 24-4-86-2, Mihir 28-1-130-1, Saransh 16-1-44-1, Kartikeya 23-3-94-0, Shubham 4.1-0-9-2, Aryaman 3-0-14-0.

Madhya Pradesh second innings: Aryaman Vikram Birla run out 23, Mohinish c Jalaj b Akshay 12, Rajat Patidar c Jagadeesh b Jalaj 77, Yash Dubey b Chandran 19, Naman Ojha lbw b Chandran 4, Shubham Sharma (not out) 48, Saransh Jain (not out) 11; Total (for five wickets, in 62 overs): 194.

Fall of wickets: 1-34, 2-42, 3-108, 4-114, 5-165.

Bowling: Warrier 21-3-50-0, Thampi 4-1-16-0, Jalaj 18-1-59-1, Akshay 4-0-12-1, Chandran 15-1-57-2.