Defending champions Gujarat start with nervy win

Parthiv Patel, the captain, and Chirag Gandhi – key to Gujarat’s Ranji Trophy triumph last season – held their composure to help them start with a nervy four-wicket win over Kerala in Nadiad. Chasing 105, Gujarat slumped to 80 for 5 before Parthiv, who walked in at No. 6, allayed fears of a shock loss by remaining unbeaten on 18. Akshay Chandran and Jalaj Saxena, the spin twins, picked up two wickets each for Kerala.

That Kerala couldn’t defend much more was due to the efforts of Siddarth Desai, who picked six wickets to dismantle them for 203 in the second innings. Piyush Chawla, their professional, took three wickets to take his match haul to 8 for 135. Priyank Panchal, the highest run-getter last season, started the new season with scores of 18 and 30.

Kerala, who beat Jharkhand in their opener, now have one win in two matches. They next play Rajasthan at home. Gujarat, meanwhile, will clash against Jammu & Kashmir in the third round starting October 24.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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