Kerala crushes Chandigarh in Vijay Hazare Trophy opener

Put into bat, Chandigarh could manage only 184 for eight. It hardly would have sufficed on what the Kerala coach Tinu Yohannan termed an excellent track for batting.

Kerala fast bowler Basil Thampi struck two crucial blows against Chandigarh.(FILE IMAGE)   -  The Hindu

Kerala’s campaign in the Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day tournament got off to a smooth start at Rajkot on Wednesday. Sanju Samson’s men romped home with six wickets and 16 overs to spare against Chandigarh at the Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground.

Put into bat, Chandigarh could manage only 184 for eight. It hardly would have sufficed on what the Kerala coach Tinu Yohannan termed an excellent track for batting.

Chandigarh could not quite recover from the early loss of two wickets. Opener Sarul Kanwar was removed by Basil Thampi for a duck, while one-drop Shivam Bhambri (14) was sent back by Manu Krishnan, who has impressed this season on his comeback to the Kerala team after a long gap.

The other opener and captain Manan Vohra, though, ensured his bowlers would have at least something to bowl at. He made 56 (69b, 4x4, 2x6). The second highest score was 26 not out by No. 10 Sandeep Sharma.

Left-arm spinner Sijomon Joseph was the pick of the Kerala bowlers. He took three for 44.

Kerala’s chase suffered a jolt when Mohammed Azharuddeen was trapped lbw by Jagjit Singh Sandhu. But his opening partner Rohan Kunnummal (46, 59b, 6x4) dropped anchor to take the team closer to the modest target.

He added 37 for the second wicket with Samson (24) and 47 for the third with Sachin Baby (59 not out, 78 b, 3x4, 2x6).

“This was the kind of start we needed,” Yohannan told Sportstar. “I am really pleased with the way Sijomon and our seamers Basil, Manu and M.D. Nidheesh bowled. Rohan’s innings at the top of the order was crucial in our chase.”

The scores:

Chandigarh 184/8 in 50 overs (Manan Vohra 56, Sijomon Joseph 3/44) lost to Kerala 185/4 in 34 overs (Rohan S. Kunnummal 46, Sachin Baby 59 n.o., Vishnu Vinod 32).

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