Bengaluru: On a day on which their senior pros pulled weight, Kerala scored an exciting three-wicket win over Uttar Pradesh in the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Monday.
Veteran pacer S Sreesanth picked up 5/65 and offie Jalaj Saxena gave away just 40 runs off his quota of 10 overs as UP were bowled out for 283 after being put in to bat. Senior opener Robin Uthappa smashed a 55-ball 81 and captain Sachin Baby scored a fine 76 as Kerala won with seven balls to spare. This was Kerala's second victory on the trot in Elite Group C.
Sreesanth, who failed to find a place in last week's IPL auction final list, struck in the death overs after having accounted for Abhishesk Goswami (54) and Akshdeep Nath (68) earlier. Priyam Garg was run out after scoring 57. Sreesanth's strikes meant the UP innings folded up in 49.4 overs. Saxena picked up one wicket at a highly impressive economy rate of four.
In reply, Uthappa continued his fine form and added 104 for the second wicket along with Sanju Samson. Sanju was run out for 29. Uthappa's breezy knock contained eight fours and four sixes.
Though Uthappa and Sanju fell with the total on 122, Sachin and Vastal Govind (30) added 71 for the fourth wicket to put the chase back on track.
Sachin and Saxena (31) were involved in a 62-run stand for the sixth wicket. Sachin's 83-ball knock was laced with six fours anad a six.
Though both got out with Kerala on the verge of win, M D Nidheesh struck an unbeaten 13 off 6 balls to take them home.
Kerala next meet Railways on Wednesday.
Brief scores: Uttar Pradesh 283 in 49.4 overs (Akshdeep Nath 68, Priyam Garg 57, Abhishesk Goswami 54; S Sreesanth 5/65, Sachin Baby 2/68) lost to Kerala 284/7 in 48.5 overs (Robin Uthappa 81, Sachin Baby 76; Karan Sharma 2/41).
Points: Kerala 4; UP 0.