Bengaluru: Arpit Vasavada's unbeaten 92 helped Saurashtra edge Kerala by three wickets in a rain-curtailed Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day match here on Thursday. Chasing a victory target of 187 in 34 overs, Vasavada guided Saurashtra home with two balls to spare.
Saurashtra were rocked early on in their chase by the Kerala pacers. Sandeep Warrier trapped Sheldon Jackson in front of the wicket for five, while his opening partner Himalaya Barad (five) fell in identical fashion to Basil Thampi.
Left-arm spinner Sijomon Joseph sent back Vishvarajsinh Jadeja for two as Saurashtra slipped to 25/3. However, Vasavada and Harvik Desai (31) put the chase back on track with a 49-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Though K M Asif broke the stand by accounting for Desai, Vasavada fought on. The left-hander added 67 for the fifth wicket in the company of Prerak Mankad (30).
Warrier returned to remove Mankad, but Vasavada kept his cool and took Saurashtra past the finish line. His 85-ball knock included seven fours and two sixes.
Saurashtra have six points from two matches in Elite Group A, while Kerala have two from as many games.
Earlier, Kerala squandered a great start to end up with 186/9 in 34 overs after Saurashtra opted to field.
Openers Vishnu Vinod and Vinoop Manoharan blazed away and took Kerala to 88 inside 12 overs. However, three quick wickets in the space of 15 deliveries stalled Kerala's progress.
Vinoop, who made 47 off just 30 balls, was the first to go as he was caught by Barad off Jay Chauhan's bowling. His aggressive knock contained nine hits to the fence.
Vishnu (41) and captain Robin Uthappa (5) fell to offie Kamlesh Makwana. Sanju Samson (16), Sachin Baby (26) and Sijomon (22) were the only batsmen apart from Vishnu and Vinoop to make it to double digits.
Medium-pacer Chirag Jani was the most successful Saurashtra bowler as he claimed 3/23 off his seven overs. Makwana and Jaydev Unadkat too chipped in with a couple of wickets.
Brief scores: Kerala 186/9 in 34 overs (Vinoop Manoharan 47, Vishnu Vinod 41; Chirag Jani 3/23, Kamlesh Makwana 2/26, Jaydev Unadkat 2/28) lost to Saurashtra 187/7 in 33.4 overs (Arpit Vasavada 92 not out; Sandeep Warrier 2/31, K M Asif 2/43, Basil Thampi 2/45).
Points: Saurashtra 4; Kerala 0.