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Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021: Third Ton On the Trot for Ruturaj Gaikwad, But Team Lose to Kerala

Rajkot: Unstoppable Ruturaj Gaikwad churned out a third century on the trot but the Maharashtra skipper’s effort went in vain as they went down to Kerala by four wickets in their group D clash of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, here on Saturday. Continuing his blistering form, the Maharashtra opener slammed 124 from 129 balls to help Maharashtra recover from some early jitters when they lost two wickets for 22 inside six overs.

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Gaikwad hit nine fours and three sixes and got out to debutant seamer Suresh Vishweshar in the 46th over while trying to step up the run-rate. It cost them dear as Maharashtra managed just 42 runs in the final-five to notch a below-par 291/8 in the stipulated 50 overs.

On Gaikwad’s day, it was Kerala seamer M D Nidheesh who stole the show with a stunning 5/49 including the vital breakthrough of the dangerous Rahul Tripahi, who fell one run shy of century. The Maharashtra vice-captain took 108 for his 99 and looked elegant with slamming 11 fours as he along with his skipper put on an entertaining 195-run stand for the third wicket to rebuild their innings.

Nidheesh also dismissed the in-form Naushad Shaikh for five, while the debutant Suresh took the prized scalp of Gaikwad as Maharashtra failed to break free in the death overs to remain under the 300-mark. In reply, Kerala had a jittery start to be reduced to 4/35 in 10.3 overs but Vishnu Vinod held composure and led the chase with a 82-ball unbeaten 100 (8×4, 2×6).

He got a fine support from Sjomon Joseph gave a fine company with 71 not out from 70 balls (2×4, 4×6). The duo put on an undefeated 174-run stand to steer the team home in 48.5 overs. Gaikwad now has 414 runs to his name in three innings at an insane average of 207 to make his case even stronger for the upcoming South Africa ODI series.

Gaikwad, who opens for Chennai Super Kings, had a record-breaking run in the IPL, amassing 635 runs in CSK’s run to the fourth title in the UAE. Gaikwad was among the four players to be retained by CSK along with MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali.

Brief Scores Maharashtra 291/8; 50 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 124, Rahul Tripathi 99; MD Nidheesh 5/49, Basil Thampi 2/56) lost to Kerala 294/6; 48.5 overs (Vishnu Vinod 100 not out, Sijomon Joseph 71 not out, Jalaj Saxena 44, Sanju Samson 42) by four wickets. Madhya Pradesh 330/7; 50 overs (Abhishek Bhandari 106, Venkatesh Iyer 71, Shubham Sharma 70; Ankit Manor 2/50, Akash Madhwal 2/58, Agrim Tiwari 2/78) beat Uttarakhand 253/9; 50 overs (Dikshanshu Negi 75, Jay Bista 53; Puneet Datey 3/35, Kumar Kartikeya 2/43, Venkatesh 2/58) by 77 runs.

Chhattisgarh 302/4; 50 overs (Harpreet Singh 113, Sanjeet Desai 106) beat Chandigarh 258; 48.2 overs (Manan Vohra 77, Arjit Pannu 54; Sourabh Majumdar 4/52, Sumit Ruikar 3/46) by 44 runs.

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