Rohan Kunnummal starts as Kerala stun Gujarat by eight wickets

Rajkot: Kerala rode on opener Rohan Kunnummal's aggressive unbeaten hundred to stun Gujarat by eight wickets in their Elite Group A Ranji Trophy game here on Sunday.

Chasing a stiff 214 for a win, Kerala lost opener Rahul P (7) cheaply. But Rohan Kunnummal (106 not out off 87 balls) and skipper Sachin Baby (62; 5x4; 2x6) had different plans as they pummelled the Gujarat attack to submission at the Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium.

The two forged a vital 143-run stand in just 135 balls for the second wicket to take Kerala closer to victory.

While Kunnummal was the more aggressive one, Baby played his part to perfection.

When Baby was dismissed by Siddharth Desai, Kerala needed just 44 runs.

Kunnummal, who hammered 12 boundaries and three maximums, then led the team home in company of Salman Nazir (28 not out; 2x4, 2x6) in just 35.4 overs.

Kunnummal, who had also scored a century in the first essay, was adjudged as the player of the match.

Kerala bagged all six points on offer.

Earlier, Kerala first shot out Gujarat for 388 before gaining a slender first innings lead as they were bowled out for 439 in their first essay, riding on centuries by Kunnummal and Vishnu Vinod.

Kerala bowlers had reduced Gujarat to 84/5, with pacer Basil Thampi (2/45) wreaking havoc at the beginning.

However, Gujarat lower-order batters Karan Patel (81 off 150 balls) and Umang Rohitkumar (70 off 175 balls) conjured a 138-run stand for the sixth wicket to post a fighting total on the board.

But once left-arm spinner Sijoman Joseph (3/48) dismissed Karan Patel, the other Kerala bowlers ran through the Gujarat tail to eventually bundle them out for 264 in their second essay.

It was Gujarat's second successive defeat, after they lost to Madhya Pradesh in the lung-opener, and hence cannot make the knock-outs.

Brief Scores: Gujarat 388 and 264 (Karan Patel 81, Umang Rohitkumar 70; Jalaj Saxena 4/57, Sijoman Joseph 3/48) versus Kerala 439 and 214/2 (Rohan Kunnummal 106 not out, Sachin Baby 63; Chintan Gaja 1/42). Kerala won by 8 wickets.


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