Malappuram (Kerala): Himachal Pradesh rode on left-arm spinner Bipul Sharma's brilliant six-wicket haul to inflict a six-wicket thrashing on Kerala inside two days in one of the Ranji Trophy cricket matches here today.
Trailing by 60 runs, Kerala suffered a batting collapse and were bundled out for 83 in their second innings early on day two with Sharma claiming 6 for 33 in 10.2 overs.
Rishi Dhawan, Karanveer Singh and Rahul Singh picked up a wicket apiece, as none of Kerala's batsmen managed to score more than 20. Captain Sanju Samson top-scored with 19.
Himachal were set only 24 to win and they completed the formalities in the fifth over of the innings to end the Group C match inside four sessions.
The visiting side, however, made a heavy weather of the paltry run chase as they lost four wickets in the process with Kerala left-arm spinner Karaparambil Monish picking up all of them in just two overs and without conceding a run.
Monish claimed three wickets on the first, third and sixth ball of the fourth over. He had taken his first wicket in the fourth ball of his first over and second of the innings.
The four-wicket haul put Monish on top of wicket-taking chart of the Ranji Trophy this season.
Himachal secured six points from the win while Kerala got none. By virtue of the win, Himachal are virtually assured of a place in the quarterfinals with 30 points from eight matches. The defeat meant that Kerala are out of reckoning for a knock-out spot.
Himachal Pradesh: 163 and 24 for 4 beat Kerala 103 and 83 (Bipul Sharma 6/33) by 6 wickets.