Vidarbha 208 (Fazal 75, Jaffer 34, Warrier 5-57, Thampi 3-64) beat Kerala 106 (Umesh 7-48, Gurbani 3-38) and 91 (Umesh 5-31, Thakur 4-28) by an innings and 11 runs
Umesh Yadav took his best-ever match figures as Vidarbha stormed into the Ranji Trophy 2018-19 final, one step away from the defending the title they won last season
Umesh took 5 for 31 in the second innings as Kerala hurtled to 91 all out at the Krishnagiri Stadium in Wayanad, losing by an innings and 11 runs shortly after lunch on the second day. Umesh had taken a career best 7 for 48 in the first innings, and ended with match figures of 12 for 79. It was Umesh's second consecutive Man-of-the-Match performance, having taken nine wickets in the quarter-final against Uttarakhand, which was also the first game he had played in the tournament.
Kerala had a good opening hour on Friday, with Sandeep Warrier taking 5 for 57 as Vidarbha were bowled out for 208 after being 170 for 2 at one stage. Then, the rejigged batting order of KB Arun Karthik and Jalaj Saxena as openers, and Vishnu Vinod at No.3, took them 59 for 1 in the second innings.
But that was as good as things got for Kerala, with Umesh bursting through to inflict a spectacular collapse. Kerala lost nine wickets in just 12.3 overs either side of lunch. Yash Thakur, the 19-year-old right-arm seamer playing only his third first-class match, took 4 for 28, also a personal best.
On the morning of the second day, Vidarbha had resumed on 171 for 5, but couldn't add too many runs. Warrier and Basil Thampi combined to bring a swift end to the innings, though not before Umesh had fun with the bat in hand too, hitting two sixes off Thampi to take Vidarbha's lead to 102.
It was still a sizeable advantage, but a lot less than they looked like getting when they were 170 for 2 with Faiz Fazal batting on 75.
For a while, it looked like Kerala would fight back in the second innings, but they crumbled. The dominance of Vidarbha's pacers was illustrated by their highest wicket-taker this season - left-arm spinner Aditya Sarwate - not bowling a single over all through the match.