Kerala upset Baroda in last-over thriller

Kerala 164 for 6 (Gomez 47*, Baby 44, Pathan 2-14) beat Baroda160 for 6 (Pathan 35*, Prasanth 2-15) by four wickets

File photo – Irfan Pathan’s unbeaten 35 and two wickets went in vain for Baroda © BCCI

Kerala upset favourites Baroda, notching up a thrilling four-wicket win in a Group A clash of the Super League at the Wankhede Stadium. Chasing 161, Kerala were only 51 for 2 at the halfway stage.

However, with 26 needed from the last two overs, Padmanabhan Prasanth landed the crucial blows, changing his bat midway through the 19th over and clubbing Munaf Patel for successive sixes over wide long-off and long-on. Prasanth had also been influential with his left-arm spin, picking up two wickets while conceding only 15 runs from his four overs.

With the equation now down to 11 off the last over, allrounder Raiphi Gomez picked up two doubles before hitting a low full-toss from the left-arm seamer Rishi Arothe past a sprinting sweeper cover fielder. Gomez ended the match with a six over long-on to finish unbeaten on 47 off 21 balls.

It was the 45-run partnership between Gomez and Prasanth, which came off only 17 balls, that turned the match. But credit must also go to Kerala captain Sachin Baby, who stood solid and stitched a valuable 59-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Nikhilesh Surendran after Baroda seemed to have gained an upper hand with wickets in the first two overs for Irfan Pathan and Munaf.

Irfan had got Sanju Samson leg before with a beautiful inswinger off the first delivery of the chase before V Jagadeesh played on off a seaming delivery from Munaf. Rohan Prem, the tournament’s highest run-maker, was Irfan’s second victim, the Kerala batsman playing all over an angled delivery.

Irfan would have been most disappointed with the result, considering his all-round contribution to Baroda’s cause. Baroda scored 69 runs off their last five overs, with Irfan remaining unbeaten on 35 off 18 deliveries. His 33-run partnership with Deepak Hooda (32 off 16) for the fourth wicket helped Baroda inject urgency into an innings that had slowed down in the middle overs.

Eventually, that phase of their innings proved crucial to the eventual defeat handed to them by Gomez and Prasanth.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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