With the thrilling five-wicket win over Himachal Pradesh in Kerala and the draw of matches between Uttar Pradesh and Assam, the teams of the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals were decided on Thursday. Apart from Kerala, teams from Gujarat, Vidarbha, Saurashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Karnataka and Rajasthan have managed to make it to the last eight.
With the victory of Kerala, Baroda's dream of making a place in the knockout broke. Kerala, Gujarat and Baroda all have 26-26 points. Kerala had won four matches while the other two teams had won three or three matches. Gujarat had better run speed than Baroda, so that it was successful in reaching the final eight.
Saurashtra secured three points on the basis of the first innings lead in Vidarbha against the Vidarbha in a drawn draw in Rajkot. Both of these teams secured 29-29 points out of Group A and B, but Vidarbha was on top on the basis of better run rate. He will fight against the plate group champion Uttarakhand in the quarter-finals, which begins on January 15.
In other matches of the quarter-finals, Saurashtra will face Uttar Pradesh, while Karnataka, ranked third from group A and B, will face Rajasthan top ranked Group C. The fourth match of the quarter-finals will be played between Kerala and Gujarat.
Both Kerala and Himachal had the need to win in the last eight. Himachal, on the fourth and final day of the match played in Nadoun, declared their second innings on Wednesday, ending at 285 for 8 wickets and set a target of 297 runs for Kerala. Kerala made it to the quarter-finals by scoring 299 runs off V. Manoharan (96), captain Sachin Baby (92) and Sanju Samson (61) for five wickets.
Saurashtra got the edge in Vidarbha's first innings in Rajkot. In reply to Saurashtra's 356 runs, Vidarbha declared their first innings ended at 280 runs on nine wickets. Saurashtra scored 218 runs for two wickets in their second innings after which the match was drawn. Saurashtra's second innings was the highlight of the 20-year-old Vishwaraj Jadeja's unbeaten 105, which was his first century in first-class matches.
On the other hand, Uttar Pradesh, in Kanpur, secured their first position in Assam and ensured their place in the quarter-finals. Assam scored 175 runs in the first innings, in reply Uttar Pradesh scored a huge score of 619 runs. Assam scored 317 runs for four wickets in their second innings before the match draw, which included 100 not out of Gokul Sharma.