Assam see off Kerala to set up Vijay Hazare Trophy final with Delhi

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Visakhapatnam: Assam rode on Gokul Sharma’s all-round display to continue their fairytale campaign in this year’s Vijay Hazare Trophy as they defeated Kerala by five wickets to enter the final of the domestic ODI championship here Saturday.

After his three-wicket haul with the ball, Gokul (51) scored an unbeaten half-century to guide Assam to the historic win at the Y S Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium. Opting to ball, Assam first dismissed Kerala for 197 in 48.5 overs and then got the target with five wickets in hand and 24 balls to spare.

Assam will take on Delhi in the summit clash Sunday. Delhi beat defending champions Bengal by six wickets in the first semi-final earlier in the day.

Offspinner Gokul (3 for 30), fast bowler Pritam Das (3 for 38) and Arup Das (2 for 32) helped Assam bundle out Kerala under 200 after skipper Abu Nechim Ahmed elected to bowl.

Only three Kerala batsman managed double figures with opener VA Jagadeesh top-scoring with a fighting 89 off 109 balls. Besides Jagadeesh, Raiphi Gomez (51) and Rohan Prem (34) were the other contributors with the bat for Kerala.

Chasing the modest target, Assam were in for an early jolt as they lost their first three wickets for just 28 runs before Tarjinder Singh (49) and opener Pallav Kumar Das (37) steadied the ship with a 72-run fourth-wicket stand.

Just when it seemed Assam were in control of the proceedings, Pallav and Tarjinder departed in quick succession to make things difficult for the North-East team. But Gokul and Jamaluddin Syed Mohammad stitched unbeaten 75 runs for the sixth wicket to guide Assam home.

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