Seasoned Sheldon Jackson scored a superb half-century as Saurashtra edged past Kerala by nine runs in a Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy pre-quarterfinal match at the Eden Gardens here on Sunday.
Punjab defeated Haryana by 49 runs, and Vidarbha beat Chhattisgarh by five wickets in the other pre-quarterfinal matches.
Saurashtra will take on Mumbai, Punjab will meet Karnataka, and Vidarbha will face Delhi in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
Electing to bat, Saurashtra posted a formidable 183 for six.
Saurashtra lost Cheteshwar Pujara and H.Desai early before Samarth Vyas (34, 18b, 2x4, 3x6) executed his clean hitting well in the Powerplay.
Sheldon (64, 44b, 4x4, 4x6) batted responsibly and joined hands with ‘impact player’ Vishvaraj Jadeja (31, 23b, 2x4, 1x6) to add 88 off 53 and ensure a big total for Saurashtra.
Both departed in the final over off Asif K.M., who captured three wickets.
In reply, Kerala lost two wickets inside five overs before the experienced right-left combination of captain Sanju Samson (59, 38b, 8x4) and Sachin Baby (64 not out, 47b, 6x4, 2x6) forged a crucial 98-run stand off 65 balls.
They exhibited their timing and placement to get the big shots and ran well between wickets to maintain a good run rate.
After Sanju fell to a loose shot off Prerak Mankad, Kerala, needing 55 off 29, faltered.
Skipper Jaydev Unadkat’s stingy 19th over, conceding only six runs, practically sealed the contest for Saurashtra.
Punjab benefitted from all-rounder Abhishek Sharma’s fine all-round showing (55 not out, 48b, 5x4, 1x6 and one wicket) and Prabhsimran Singh’s dashing knock (64, 37b, 5x4, 5x6) to beat Haryana convincingly.
They added 100 runs for the second wicket in 66 deliveries as Punjab got 176 for seven.
In reply, Haryana lost wickets frequently and perished under pressure.
Umesh Yadav’s three-wicket haul helped Vidarbha restrict Chhattisgarh to 111 for nine before opener S.R. Ramaswamy scored 63 (52b, 7x4, 3x6) to make it an easy chase.