Creating history, Kerala enter Ranji Trophy quarter finals
Rohtak: Kerala has created history by entering the quarter finals of Rajni Trophy at Chaudhry Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium, Lahli. On the final day of Group B encounter with Haryana, Kerala beat Haryana for 1 innings and 8 runs. The win has ensured Kerala’s berth in the knockout round of the tournament.
Ananthapadmanabhan, Sreekumaran Nair, Sunil Oasis and Sreesanth led the Kerala team to victory, along with the strong support from Sanju, Basil Thampi Sachin Baby and Jalaj Saxsena. Kerala realised the longtime dream by earning 31 points from 6 matches.
The 181 runs lead in the crucial match against Haryana helped Kerala to win the match. Also the lightning fast 60 runs earned by night watchman Basil Thampi was a key to victory. Kerala clinched 5 leading wickets as Haryana trailed by 56 runs in the second innings, on the third day.
The only worry was whether Kerala would have to go for batting in the second innings on the last day of match.
Score: Haryana 1st innings 208, 2nd innings 173. Kerala 1st innings 389.
Instead of depending on one or two leading players, Kerala played as a team with each player contributing to the victory. In the 6 matches in this season, Kerala tasted defeat only once, from Gujarat.
The biggest achievement for Kerala in the nearest history was the entry to Elite group in the 2007-08 season. This time match was arranged in four groups. Each group consists of 7 teams, and two of them will enter the quarter finals.
The impressive performance of Jalaj Saxsena as an all-rounder led the Kerala to quarter finals. Sanju Samsaon who regained his form with two centuries supported the team in its victory. Rohan Prem who failed to sustain his form in the last season also helped the team at the right time with good innings.