Kolkata: Pacer Sandeep Warrier breathed fire as Kerala scored a famous 9-wicket win over Bengal inside three days in their Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match at the Eden Gardens here on Thursday.
The hosts, who conceded a 144-run lead in the first innings, found the Kerala pace trio of Warrier (5/33), Basil Thampi (3/59) and M D Nidheesh (1/72) too hot to handle for the second time in the match. The two-time former champions were bowled out for 184 in their second essay.
Kerala knocked off the target of 41 in 11 overs for the loss of opener Jalaj Saxena (26) to pick up six points. The visitors could have picked up a bonus point had they completed a 10-wicket win. Kerala, who have 13 points from three games, lead the nine-team group.
Bengal, who resumed the third day on 5/1, lost opener Abhishek Kumar Raman for 13 off Warrier's bowling as they slipped to 26/2. Captain Manoj Tiwary (62) and Sudip Chatterjee (39) were involved in a fighting stand of 89 for the third wicket. But once Warrier cleaned up Tiwary, Bengal lost their way.
The 27-year old Warrier also removed Chatterjee and completed his seventh five-wicket haul in first class cricket by dismissing Ishan Porel for a duck to wrap up the Bengal innings.
The Kerala pacers accounted for 18 of the 20 Bengal wickets. Saxena, who smashed a brilliant 143 against an attack which consisted of Indian pacer Mohammed Shami, was instrumental in Kerala gaining a big first innings lead.
Kerala, led by Sachin Baby and coached by Dav Whatmore, next meet Madhya Pradesh in Thiruvananthapuram from November 28.
Brief scores: Bengal 147 and 184 in 56.5 overs (Manjoj Tiwary 62; Sandeep Warrier 5/33) lost to Kerala 291 and 44/1 in 11 overs.
Points: Kerala 6; Bengal 0.