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In historic first, Kerala join defending champions Gujarat in quarter-finals
 
(NEW DELHI, Nov 28, 2017):The Kerala cricket team has made history by reaching the quarter-finals of the Ranji Trophy for the first time, joining defending champions Gujarat from Group B of the ongoing tournament. From Group C, Madhya Pradesh grabbed the second available spot after Mumbai crushed Tripura by ten wickets, while from Group A it was Bengal and Vidarbha who marched into the final eight. Karnataka and Delhi emerged easily from a lop-sided Group A.

Group B

Kerala became the first team from Group B to progress into the knockouts, with an innings victory over Haryana away from home. Their latest win gave Kerala - this season coached by Dav Whatmore - 31 points from six games. Group leaders Gujarat beat Jharkhand by 10 wickets to end the league stage on 34 points, courtesy five wins out of six.

Haryana's campaign ended with their fourth defeat, leaving them with nine points from six games. Jharkhand limped out with eight points from six matches, winning a solitary fixture.
A draw with Rajasthan has meant that Saurashtra have to wait to gain passage into the quarter-finals. In six matches, Saurashtra claimed 26 points while Rajasthan's winless run in the tournament saw them finish with just six points from six matches. The final team, Jammu & Kashmir, did not feature in the final round of matches; they ended fourth in Group B with nine points.

Group C

A seven-wicket win for Indore at home over Odisha, spurred on by leg spinner Mihir Hirwani, has pushed MP them into the knockouts. This put them level with Mumbai on 21 points, but second on the table because Mumbai had more outright wins. Andhra finished at third place with 19 points.

Baroda and Tamil Nadu, both out of the reckoning for a knockout berth once Mumbai hammered Tripura, played out a draw at the Motibaug Cricket Ground. Baroda finished at fourth place in Group C with 16 points, ahead of Tamil Nadu with 11 points, meaning this was the first time since 1955-56 that the southern state team did not manage a single outright win. Tripura finished bottom of Group C with four points, behind Odisha with six.

Group D

Vidarbha's strong season continued with a draw against Himachal Pradesh, which gave them three points to claim top spot in the group. Spurred by captain Faiz Fazal's 206, Vidarbha were set up for the first-innings lead and though they could not complete victory, they finished eight point clear of Bengal with 31 from six matches.

A draw with Goa at home secured Bengal's place in the quarter-finals. They finished second with 23 points, ahead of Punjab (18), Himachal (14), Chhattisgharh (13), Services (10) and Goa (6).

Group A

Karnataka topped the group following a 209-run win over Railways, with the red-hot opener Mayank Agarwal recording his fifth century of the season, and second in the match, and K Gowtham spinning his way to seven wickets. This was Karnataka's fourth outright win. Agarwal passed 1000 runs for the season as his second century ground Railways down.

Delhi were unable to snuff out Hyderabad for a full six points, but having already qualified for the quarter-finals, Gautam Gambhir's team pocketed second place with 27 points. Maharashtra signed off with a seven-wicket win over Assam, joint on 16 points with Hyderabad in Group A. Railways (14), Uttar Pradesh (5) and Assam (2) were already out of the reckoning.


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