Ranji Trophy: Madhya Pradesh score a hard-fought win over Kerala

Ranji Trophy: Madhya Pradesh score a hard-fought win over Kerala
Kerala batsman Vishnu Vinod's unbeaten 193 went in vain. Photo: Special Arrangement
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Thiruvananthapuram: Rajat Patidar's fine 77 helped Madhya Pradesh overcome a spirited Kerala by five wickets in their Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match here on Saturday.

Kerala, who were blown away for 63 on the first morning, fought hard after conceding a first innings lead of 265 through Vishnu Vinod (193 not out), captain Sachin Baby (143) and Basil Thampi (57) in their second innings.

The hosts, who resumed the final day on 390/8, were bowled out for 455. Vishnu and Basil, who scored his maiden half-century in first class cricket, put on 131 runs for the ninth wicket. Once Basil was caught and bowled by Shaubham Sharma, last man Sandeep Warrier (0) perished soon leaving Vishnu stranded on 193. The right-hander's 282-ball knock contained 23 fours and a six.

Needing 191 for an outright win, the Madhya Pradesh openers Aryaman Vikram Birla (23) and Mohnish Mishra (12) began steadily. The two put on 34 before Jalaj Saxena ran out Birla. Spinner K C Akshay accounted for Mishra to leave the visitors in a spot at lunch. However, Patidar, who made 73 in the first essay, kept the Kerala bowlers at bay and added 66 for the third wicket in the company of Yash Dubey (19).

Akshay Chandran revived Kerala's hopes with his twin strikes as he packed off Dubey and the experienced Naman Ojha (4). But Patedar and new man Shubham Sharma (48 not out) quelled Kerala's challenge with a crucial 51-run stand. Though Patedar fell on the verge of win, Sharma took them home along with Saransh Jain (11 not out).

Kerala remain on 13 points from four matches, while Madhya Pradesh, who notched up their first win of the season, have 11 points from four matches.

Kerala next play Tamil Nadu in an away fixture from Thursday.

Brief scores: Kerala 63 and 455 in 121.1 overs (Vishnu Vinod 193 not out, Sachin Baby 143, Basil Thampi 57; Kuldeep Sen 3/69) lost to Madhya Pradesh 328 and 194/5 in 62 overs (Rajat Patidar 77, Shubham Sharma 48 not out).

Points: MP 6; Kerala 0.

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