Mumbai recorded its second straight victory in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, beating Kerala by eight wickets in a rain-curtailed encounter at the Alur Cricket Stadium here on Saturday.
After being asked to bat, Kerala, riding on Sachin Baby’s century (104, 134b, 8x4, 2x6), set a target of 232. But the mark shrunk twice as heavens opened, first to 206 from 42 overs following a 30-minute rain delay and then to 159 from 30 overs after a 65-minute break.
Mumbai, though, remained unperturbed, scoring at a brisk rate from the get-go, remaining firmly ahead in the V. Jayadevan (VJD) Method calculations.
Opener Angkrish Raghuvanshi scored a tone-setting half-century (57, 47b, 5x4, 3x6), replete with elegant drives and daring pulls. Playing just his second List A match, the 18-year-old was fearless in his approach and it was fitting that he got to his maiden fifty with a slashed six over point off speedster Basil Thampi.
When he holed out to mid-wicket off Thampi, the job was only half done. But his skipper Ajinkya Rahane finished it, scoring a 20-ball 34 that was studded with four sixes.
Kerala tried to bounce him out with multiple catching men on the leg-side. But the seasoned Rahane cleared the square fence twice, clipped one over mid-wicket before ushering the end with a slapped maximum off leggie Shreyas Gopal.
Earlier, Kerala was rescued by a 126-run partnership for the third wicket between Sanju Samson (55, 83b, 4x4, 2x6) and Baby. Run-making seemed difficult, with even the usually free-scoring Samson circumspect.
Baby played a steady innings, nudging and steering his way through to his fourth List A ton. The 34-year-old’s best shots were his two sixes -- the heave over long-on off Tushar Deshpande and the hook over deep backward square leg off Royston Dias.
But even his best couldn’t save the day for Kerala as pacer Mohit Avasthi finished with a four-wicket haul (four for 28).
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