Vijay Hazare Trophy: Maharashtra overpowers Kerala

Maharashtra carried far more fire power for Kerala to make any impact in the Vijay Hazare tournament contest at the Barabati Stadium here on Sunday.

Kedar Jadhav scored a handy 71.   -  REUTERS (File Photo)

Maharashtra carried far more fire power for Kerala to make any impact in the Vijay Hazare tournament contest at the Barabati Stadium here on Sunday. Opting to field, Kerala was batted out of the match by Maharashtra, which recorded its second win in as many matches. The 122-run margin reflected Maharashtra’s dominance.

Ruturaj Gaikwad, Kedar Jadhav and Naushad Shaikh thrived on the Kerala attack to put up a formidable 311 in the stipulated 50 overs. The target proved too stiff for Kerala and the contest was reduced to a farce midway through the second half of the day.

Kerala flattered by scalping the wickets of Vijay Zol (5) and Ankit Bawane 91) but a third wicket partnership of 104 runs saw Maharashtra recover and then build on the situation from a 52-run stand between Gaikwad and Shaikh as Kerala gave away easy runs.

Gaikwad’s 79 off 97 balls contained 11 fours while Jadhav made his 71 off 48 balls with five fours and five sixes. Shaikh took 50 balls for his 57 with five hits to the boundary.

Regular contributions from the lower half saw Maharashtra get past the 300-mark and the pressure got to the Kerala batsmen early in the chase. Barring off-spinner Jalaj Saxena’s four for 51 performance there was nothing Kerala could showcase as encouraging from this match.

The Kerala batsmen caved in to seamer Pradeep Dadhe, who claimed four wickets with his nagging length. He accounted for Saxena (16), Rohan Prem (2), Sanju Samson (11) and Salman Nizar (0) to break the back of the Kerala batting. A seventh-wicket partnership of 109 runs between Iqbal Abddulla (60 off 62 balls with nine fours and one six) and Mohammed Azharuddeen (50 off 67 balls with five fours and one six) only delayed the impending defeat for Kerala, its second in succession.

The scores:

Maharashtra 311 in 50 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 79, Kedar Jadhav 71, Naushad Shaikh 57, Shrikant Mundhe 31, Jalaj Saxena four for 51) beat Kerala (Iqbal Abdulla 60, Mohammed Azharuddeen 50, Pradeep Dadhe four for 33, S. Kazi three for 25).