Sixty-eight years after they first took part in India's most prestigious domestic first-class competition (then as Travancore-Cochin), Kerala qualified for the Ranji Trophy semi-final for the first time, building on from their maiden quarter-final appearance in 2017-18.
Victory was achieved in a little under three hours on the third day in Wayanad as they beat 2016-17 champions Gujarat, who folded for just 81 in their second innings to lose by 113 runs. It took Kerala just 31.3 overs to pick up the 10 wickets they needed, with fast bowler Basil Thampi returning a five-wicket haul to take his match tally to 8 for 88.
Sandeep Warrier, the other premier Kerala fast bowler, also finished with eight in the match by taking four second-innings wickets. The one other wicket came courtesy a direct hit from Sachin Baby, the captain, to run out his opposite number Parthiv Patel for a duck.
Only two Gujarat batsmen crossed double digits in their chase of 195, as the team slid to four-down inside the first half hour. Debutant Rahul Shah, at No. 3, remained unbeaten on 33 and built a 39-run stand with Dhruv Raval. The latter's dismissal for 17, however, kicked off another collapse, as they lost their last six wickets for 24 runs.