Kerala wicket keeper-batsman Sanju Samson made a case for himself for the upcoming T20s against Bangladesh by hitting a blistering double century as Kerala thrashed Goa by 104 runs in their Elite Group A game of the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Saturday. Riding on Samson's record-breaking unbeaten 212 off just 129 balls, Kerala posted a mammoth 377/3 on the board and restricted Goa to 153/3 after play was called off due to inclement weather.
Goa were 104 runs short of the revised target. The cynosure of all eyes at the Alur Cricket Stadium II near here was Samson. Opting to bat, Kerala lost openers skipper Robin (10) and Vishnu Vinod (7) cheaply and were in a spot of bother at 31-2. But Samson, who struck 21 fours and 10 sixes in his knock, hammered the opposition bowlers. With this knock, Samson holds the record for the highest Indian List A domestic score, after he went past Karn Kaushal's 202, scored for Uttarakhand.
Samson is the eighth Indian to score a double hundred in List A cricket. His is also the highest score by a wicket-keeper in List A matches, surpassing 209 by Abid Ali. Also Samson hit the fastest List A 200 by an Indian, (in 129 balls). He also became the first Indian to score a list A 200 at number three position.
Samson and two-down Sachin Baby (127 off 135 balls) conjured a massive 338-run stand for the third wicket. Baby struck seven boundaries and four sixes. The partnership of 338 betweenSamson and Baby is a new List A record for the third wicket, as they went past the 309 run stand between Tim Curtis and Tom Moody for Worcestershire in 1994.
Samson thus made a case for himself and played a timely knock, with Rishabh Pant struggling and the future of veteran stumper-batsman MS Dhoni uncertain. The chase was always going to be uphill task for Goa, who fell way beyond the target. Elsewhere, Jharkhand eked out a three-wicket winversus Andhra with middle-order batsman Virat Singh remaining unbeaten at 74. Karnataka defeated Saurashtra by eight wickets to win full four points.
Brief Scores: Kerala 377/3 (Sanju Samson 212 not out, Sachin Baby 127; Lakshay Garg 1-73) beat Goa 153/3 (Tunish Sawkar 56, Aditya Kaushik 50 not out; Sandeep Warrior 1-22) by 104 runs. Kerala 4 points, Goa 0 points.
Andhra 265/6 (Kranthi Kumar 72, Ricky Bhuvi 59; Varun Aaron 2-54) lost to Jharkhand 266/7 (Virat Singh 74 not out, Saurabh Tiwari 56; Prithvi Raj Yarra 2-58) by 3 wickets. Jharkhand 4 points, Andhra 0 points.
Saurashtra 212 all out (Prerak Mankad 86, Chirag Jani 66; M Prasidh Krishna 5-19) lost to Karnataka 213/2 (Devdutt Padikkal 103 not out, Manish Pandey 67 not out; Prerak Mankad 2-33) by 8 wickets. Karnataka 4 points, Saurashtra 0 points.