Openers Murali Vijay and Narayan Jagadeesan were removed cheaply by Basil Thampi and KM Asif, respectively. Baba Aparajith and Dinesh Karthik held the Mohammed and Khan joined hands only after the innings were breached, but the momentum was infused. Mohammed made an 11-ball 34 that included three sixes, while Khan struck two maximums in his 28 off 18 to take the visitors past 170, which was looking unlikely until the 16th. The late flourish of Khan and Mohammed broke Kerala’s back as they pilloried 62 off the final four overs.
However, the real difference between the two sides was Periyaswamy and his mentor Natarajan, as they scythed the Kerala batting line-up grabbing three wickets apiece. Robin Uthappa, the skipper of dismissal by Periyasamy Drew First Blood, is the scoring rate of jacking up when trying to get a shot.
The in-form Vishnu Vinod and Rohan Kunnummal steadied the ship, but failed to stay on. Sachin Baby and the hard-hitting Mohammed Azharuddeen stuck together for a while, but the asking rate kept climbing.
Periyasamy, who had lost sight of his right eye due to illness in childhood, kept his slingers with a tight leash under the batsmen. Natarajan too kept his guesses and changed his lines and lengths. In the last four overs, Kerala required 52. But the decision at 137 for 8. Delhi Match washed out in the inclement weather, leaving Surat in Gujarat against Delhi’s Group E match.