Puducherry, Jan 27 (PTI) Jharkhand became the second team behind Karnataka to sail into the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals from Group C after the match between Kerala and Puducherry ended in a draw and Services thrashed Rajasthan by 183 runs on Friday.
While Karnataka had already secured a last-eight berth following the penultimate round of Ranji matches, Jharkhand had to wait till the last day of the seventh and final round of group matches, which concluded on Friday, to know their fate.
On Thursday, Jharkhand had lost to Karnataka by nine wickets and their players would have been edgy all day long on Friday as their fate was to be decided by the Kerala-Puducherry and Services-Rajasthan matches.
Luckily for Jharkhand, both results went in their favour and they will take on Bengal in the quarter-finals, while Group C toppers Karnataka will play Uttarakhand in the last-eight.
On Friday, Rajasthan needed to score an outright win against Services to enter the quarters, but suffered a huge loss.
Rajasthan, who were chasing an improbable target of 319 to win, were bundled out for 135, with Services pacer Poonam Poonia and off-spinner Pulkit Narang taking five wickets each.
Rajasthan opener Yash Kothari tried to keep the innings intact with a workman-like 72 but his departure opened the floodgates and a steady procession to the dressing room ensued.
Kerala's chances of making the quarters had hinged on either the team taking a first-innings lead or beating Puducherry. Both didn't happen, and they earned just one point from the draw, making Jharkhand's entry into the quarter-final easy.
Brief scores: At Jodhpur: Services 178 and 276 beat Rajasthan 136 and 135 (Yash Kothari 72; Poonam Poonia 5/36, Pulkit Narang 5/22) by 183 runs.
At Puducherry: Puducherry 371 and 279 for 5 in 74.3 overs (Jay Pande 102, Paras Dogra 55, Krishna Pandey 94; Suresh Vishweshwar 3/58) drew with Kerala 286.
At Raipur: Chhattisgarh 531 for 9 decl and 52 for 2 beat Goa 359 and f/o 223 in 86 overs (Ishaan Gadekar 59, Ravi Kiran 3/12, Ajay Mandal 3/61) by eight wickets. PTI AM AM ATK ATK