Rajkot: A stunning collapse in the final session of the match after a long stand between captain Sachin Baby and opener Rahul P dashed Kerala's hopes of qualifying for the knockout phase of the Ranji Trophy.
Kerala slumped from 369/2 to 422/9 in reply to Madhya Pradesh's first innings total of 585/9 declared in the battle for run quotient. MP progressed to the quarterfinals on run quotient (2.147 as opposed to Kerala's 1.648) as Kerala finished on 432/9. Both sides ended up with 14 points in Elite Group A.
Resuming on 198/2, Rahul (136) and Sachin (114) added 83 runs in 36 overs in the morning session. The two left-handers put on a further 83 off 27 overs in the second session.
Sachin, who scored his seventh first-class ton, fell in the second over after tea off Kumar Kartikeya Singh's bowling. His 234-ball 114 included 11 fours and two sixes. Sachin and Rahul added 187 off 430 balls.
Soon Rahul's long vigil ended. He was dismissed by seamer Ishwar Pandey. Rahul hit 18 fours in his 368-ball knock
The 30-year-old Rahul brought his hundred off 247 balls with the help of 15 fours. This was Rahul's second ton this season.
Pandey struck again as he sent back Salman Nizar for one.
Vishnu Vinod (8) too did not last long as he was dismissed by Kumar.
M D Nidheesh (11 not out) and Basil N P (0 not out) played out 25 balls for the last wicket to deny MP the first innings lead though it was of little consolation.
Pandey and Anubhav Agarwal picked up three wickets each.
Brief scores: MP 585/9 declared in 204.3 overs (Yash Dubey 289, Rajast Patidar 142; Jalaj Saxena 6/116) drew with Kerala 432/9 in 153 overs overs (Rahul P 136, Sachin Baby 114, Rohan S Kunnummal 75; Anubhav Agarwal 3/58, Ishwar Pandey 3/78).
Points: MP 1; Kerala 1