Nadiad (Gujarat): Despite the spinners putting up a good show, Kerala lost to defending champions Gujarat in their second Group B match of the Ranji Trophy 2017-18 at the Shambhubhai V Patel Stadium here on Tuesday.
Chasing the 105-runs target, Gujarat resumed the final day at 22-1 and romped home with four wickets in hand in 42.3 overs.
Though Kerala spinners Jalaj Saxena and Akshay Chandran exerted pressure and managed to pick wickets at regular intervals, the target was too small to pose any challenge for the hosts.
Opener Panchal made 30 while Merai scored patient 21 off 61 balls. Night watchman Gaja (4), Juneja (9), Bhatt (0) could make any notable contributions and Gujarat slumped to 81-6 in 37th over. However, with an unbeaten 27-run partnership for the seventh wicket, captain Parthiv Patel (18) and Chirag Gandhi (11) took them home comfortably.
Akshay and Saxena shared two wickets apiece as Sachin Baby bagged one. With the win, Gujarat added six more points to their tally.
First innings - Kerala 208 runs (Sanju 51, Sachin 49, Chawla 5-69), Gujarat 307 runs (Chirag Gandhi 91, Gohil 69, Bhatt 44)
Second innings- Kerala 203 runs (Karthick 69, Sachin 59, Desai 6-80), Gujarat 108 runs (Panchal 30, Merrai 21, Saxena 2-16, Akshay 2-37)
Points: Gujarat-6, Kerala-0