Ranji Trophy: Punjab thrash Kerala

Mohali: Punjab crushed Kerala by 10 wickets in their Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match here on Tuesday.

Punjab openers Shubman Gill (69 not out) and Jiwanjot Singh (48 not out) chased down the victory target of 128 with ease and made sure the hosts pocketed the bonus point for the 10-wicket win.

Punjab earned seven points for the win and jumped to joint third along with Kerala in the points table. Both teams have 20 points from seven matches. The top five teams from Group A and B will advance to the quarterfinals. Kerala meet Himachal Pradesh in their final fixture at Nadaun on January 7.

Earlier, Kerala, who resumed on 127/3, were bowled out for 223 in their second innings. Mohammed Azharuddeen (112), who completed a brilliant maiden first class ton, and Vishnu Vinod (36) were the lone Kerala batters to defy the Punjab attack on the third day.

Azharuddeen's 168-ball knock contained 12 boundaries and two sixes.

Leg-spinner Mayank Markande was the most successful Punjab bowler with figures of 4/56. Manpreet Gony, Baltej Singh and Siddharth Kaul claimed two apiece.

Brief scores:Kerala 121 and 223 all out in 73.1 overs (Mohammed Azharuddeen 112; Mayank Markande 4/56) lost to Punjab 217 and 131/0 in 27.4 overs (Shubman Gill 69 not out, Jiwanjot Singh 48 not out).