Assam rode on Gokul Sharma's all-round display to continue its fairytale campaign in this year's Vijay Hazare Trophy as they defeated Kerala by five wickets to enter the final of the domestic ODI championship in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.
After his three-wicket haul with the ball, Gokul (51) scored an unbeaten half-century to guide Assam to the historic win at the YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium.
Opting to ball, Assam first dismissed Kerala for 197 in 48.5 overs and then overwhelmed the target with five wickets in hand and 24 balls to spare.
Assam will take on Delhi in the summit clash on Sunday.
Delhi beat defending champions Bengal by six wickets in the first semi-final earlier in the day.
Off-spinner Gokul (3/30) and fast bowler Pritam Das (3/38) picked up three wickets apiece, while Arup Das (2/32) accounted for two top-order batsmen to help Assam bundle out Kerala under the 100-run mark after skipper Abu Nechim Ahmed elected to bowl.
Only three Kerala batsman managed double digit scores with opener VA Jagadeesh top-scoring with a fighting 89 off 109 balls. Besides Jagadeesh, Raiphi Gomez (51) and Rohan Prem (34) were the other contributors with the bat for Kerala.
Chasing the modest target, Assam were in for early jolt as they lost their first three wickets for just 28 runs before Tarjinder Singh (49) and opener Pallav Kumar Das (37) steadied the ship with a 72-run fourth-wicket stand.
Just when it seemed Assam were in control of the proceedings, Pallav and Tarjinder departed in quick succession to make things difficult for the North-East team.
But Gokul and Jamaluddin Syed Mohammad stitched unbeaten 75 runs for the sixth wicket to guide Assam home.
Brief Scores: Kerala 197 all out in 48.5 overs (VA Jagadeesh 89, Raiphi Gomez 51; Gokul Sharma 3 for 30, Pritam Das 3 for 38) lost to Assam 200 for 5 in 46 overs (Gokul Sharma 52*, Tarjinder Singh 49; Prasanth Parameswaran 2 for 25, S Sandeep Warrier 2 for 25) by 5 wickets
First Published: March 2, 2013, 7:13 pm