Batting first in the match and building a good score, Kerala had a chance of winning. Earlier in the same Ranji Trophy, despite getting such a good score, Kerala has not been able to win. So this time Sanju and his team gave a determined performance.
Kerala scored 363 runs for the loss of 10 wickets in the first innings. Sanju Samson disappointed but two players scored centuries for Kerala. Former captain Sachin Baby and Akshay Chandran scored centuries in the match held in Thiruvananthapuram.
Sachin Baby scored 121 runs from 264 balls. An innings with 12 fours and a six. Akshay Chandran scored 106 runs off 222 balls. Jalaj Saxena who scored 40 runs also shone. The star’s real performance was yet to come. Saxena bowled Bengal.
Saxena, an off-spinner, took 9 wickets for Bengal in the first innings. If he had taken 1 more wicket, the player would have had a huge record. Nidhish took the other wicket of Bengal. Bengal were all out in the first innings for 180 runs. Opener Abhimanyu Iswar who scored 72 runs was the top scorer of the team.
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In the second innings, Sanju and his team changed their strategy. Bengal played with the aim of declaring quickly after scoring unattainable runs. Kerala declared by scoring 265 runs for the loss of 6 wickets. Rohan Kunnummal (51), Sachin Baby (51) and Shreyas Gopal (50) scored fifties for Kerala.
Bengal fought hard in the second innings but they could not overcome Kerala’s score. Bengal’s top scorer is Shehbaz Ahmed who scored 80 runs from 100 balls. Abhimanyu Eswaran also scored 65 runs. Bengal’s second innings ended with 339 runs.
With the win, Kerala finished third in the points table in the group. The team’s quarter hopes were already over as they scored only 14 points from six matches.