Ranji Trophy: Kerala relegated to Group C after final-day washout

There had been no cricket on the third day, either. Kerala and Vidarbha thus had to settle for one point from the match.

M. D. Nidheesh was the lone bright spot for Kerala. (File Picture)   -  Akhilesh Kumar (File Photo)

Kerala's dismal campaign in the Ranji Trophy came to a depressing end on Friday. The final day of its Group A match against Vidarbha was washed out without a ball being bowled at the VCA Stadium.

There had been no cricket on the third day, either. Kerala and Vidarbha thus had to settle for one point from the match.

At stumps on day two, Kerala was 191 for three, in reply to Vidarbha's 326. A much improved performance with the bat had raised Kerala's hopes of a first-innings lead and thus three points.

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Defending champion Vidarbha has another game left, but is already out of the race for a place in the quarterfinals, since it has only 18 points.

Kerala finished with 10 points. It also became the first team to be relegated to Group C for the next edition of the Ranji Trophy.

Kerala desperately needed at least three points to keep its hopes alive. Next week we will know the identity of the other team to be relegated: the fight is between Madhya Pradesh and Hyderabad.

There was a small consolation for Kerala, though. Its seamer M.D. Nidheesh was named Man-of-the-Match for his splendid spell, that saw him take his second five-wicket haul of the season.

In the absence of Kerala's talented new-ball bowlers, Sandeep Warrier, who is in New Zealand with the India-A team, and Basil Thampi, who is injured, he spearheaded the Kerala attack with aplomb.

The scores: Vidarbha 326 drew with Kerala 191 for three.

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