Shimla: Kerala defeated Himachal Pradesh by 5 wickets on Thursday and entered into the quarterfinals of the Ranji Trophy.
Kerala will now face Gujarat in the quarter final clash on January 15.
When Himachal declared their second innings at 285, Kerala had an almost impossible winning target of 297 runs to reach. But Kerala's brilliant batting achieved the score with scintillating half centuries from Vinup Manoharan (96), Captain Sachin Baby (92) and Sanju Samson (Not out 61).
The other interesting aspect was that Kerala could reach the target when 23 overs remaining. The other teams which enter the knock out phase were Vidarbha, Karnataka, Saurashtra and Gujarat.
HImachal was at one juncture, were 202/ 2. But soon the team crashed in front of Kerala's sharp bowling attack and ended their innings with 286. For Kerala, Sijomon Joseph scaled four wickets. Basil Thamip and Sandeept Warrier got two wickets each.
Himachal Pradesh 297 & 285/8 in 52.1 overs
Kerala 286 (P Rahul 127, Sanju Samson 50, A Guleria 5/47 and R Dhawan 3/68 ) second innings 297. (UNI)