Nadaun (Himachal Pradesh): Ankit Kaushik did the star turn as hosts Himachal Pradesh pulled off a last-ball win over Kerala in their Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day match here on Friday.
Chasing a victory target of 271, Himachal were reeling at 219/9 in the 44th over before Kaushik (83 not out) added 54 runs for the last wicket off just 38 balls to take the home side home. He smashed Abhishesk Mohan for 21 runs off the final over and hit a six off the last ball to snatch a dramatic win. Last-man V K Galetiya (1 not out) was a mere spectator as Kaushik played a blinder (77b, 7x4, 2x6).
Earlier, captain Sachin Baby and opener Vishnu Vinod scored half-centuries as Kerala made 271/5 in 50 overs after being being put in to bat. The left-right combination added 79 runs for the fourth wicket. Vishnu's 66-run knock came of 112 balls (1x4, 3x6), while Sachin smashed eight fours and three sixes in his 81-ball innings.
In reply, the Himachal middle order batsmen found left-arm spinner K C Akshy (4/32) tough to handle and slipped from 81/1 to 125/5 before captain Nikhil Gangta and Kaushik joined hands. The two put on 61 runs for the sixth wicket. But once Gangta was cleaned up by Sandeep Warrier for 62, Keala looked in control. However, Kaushik had other ideas.
Kerala, who tied with Bengal in their opening fixture, have two points from as many matches. They next meet Tripura on Sunday.
Brief scores: Kerala 271/7 in 50 overs (Sachin Baby 95, Vishnu Vinod 66; Pankaj Jaiswal 3/51) lost to Himachal Pradesh 273/ 9 in 50 overs (Ankit Kaushik 83 not out; Nikhil Gangta 62; K C Akshay 4/32, K M Asif 3/65).
Points: Himachal: 4; Kerala 0.