Kerala thrashed Delhi by an innings and 27 runs in a Ranji Trophy Group ‘B’ match on Sunday to earn seven points and lift their tally to 20, as the race for knockout berths got exciting.
Delhi, struggling at 41 for five, stared at an early finish and needed skipper Dhruv Shorey (batting on 13) at stumps on Saturday to play a long innings.
On day three, Shorey and Anuj Rawat kept the Kerala bowlers at bay for eight overs before Jalaj Saxena struck in the 22nd over, getting the captain out for 30.
Rawat (31), Shivam Sharma (33) and Subodh Bhati (30) delayed Kerala’s wait for a third win of the season, while playing some attacking shots.
Bhati used the long handle to good effect as he hit three huge sixes in his 34-ball knock. His cameo ended when he was caught by Rahul to give Saxena his third wicket of the innings and the match’s ninth.
Sijomon Joseph wrapped up things for Kerala when he had Akash Sudan caught by Sandeep Warrier as Delhi folded for 154 in 41 overs.
Saxena, who hit 68 in Kerala’s first innings total of 320 and took nine wickets for 88 runs, was named Man of the Match.
Delhi, playing their first match since the retirement of Gautam Gambhir, remained on seven points from five games, suffered their second loss of the season.