Ranji Trophy: Jammu and Kashmir create history

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Mumbai, Dec 10: Jammu and Kashmir, on Wednesday created history in Ranji Trophy when they beat 40-time champions Mumbai by 4 wickets in a Group A match at the Wankhede Stadium.

Needing 179 to win on the final day with 9 wickets in hand, Jammu and Kashmir reached the 237-run target for the loss of 6 wickets.

File photo: J&K captain Parvez Rasool

Opener Shubham Khajuria was the hero in the run chase as he topscored with 78 off 140 balls with 10 fours and 1 six. Hardeep Singh, batting at number 6, remained unbeaten on 41 to give the team a memorable win.

This was the first ever meeting between Jammu and Kashmir and Mumbai. And they stunned the multiple champions on their home ground.

Jammu and Kashmir are coached by former India left-arm spinner Sunil Joshi, who was appointed this season, replacing Bishan Singh Bedi.

"To beat Mumbai in Mumbai is a great achievement. Our graph has been rising steadily over the last 2-3 years, but we were told playing in elite division is different. We have answered that question," said captain Parvez Rasool beating the heavyweights in their very first clash in 80 years of the tournament.

Coach Joshi said for the first time in the last 20 years, he saw Mumbai batsmen "showing vulnerability against pace bowling."

"Our morale is up after this victory," said Rasool who rued that J&K would not be playing a single home match this season.

"We don't have any home advantage this season. Three out of our four victories last season were clinched at home," the J&K captain, the first cricketer from the state to have represented India, said.

"We have done so well despite lack of sufficient preparations (due to unprecedented floods in the Kashmir valley) which shows we have good potential. Due to the floods, the Srinagar boys, including myself, had a 15-day camp at Nagpur while the Jammu boys trained at their home town," said all-rounder Rasool.

Asked what he has told his teammates after his experiences with India and India A teams, Rasool said, "I have told them to inculcate self-belief." Rasool also praised the batting of Khajuria as "commendable."

Asked whether he was worried about the lower order batting carrying the team home after the first innings collapse when they lost the last five wickets for one run, he said, "We are not as bad as was made out by that happening."

Coach Joshi ascribed the victory to "team effort." "We did well in the one-day tournament (held before Ranji Trophy). Our bowling is good. We need to work some more on our batting. Playing away from home will give the team more exposure," said the former India left arm spinner.

Brief Scores

Mumbai 236 and 254 lost to Jammu and Kashmir 254 and 237/6 in 69.2 overs (Shubham Khajuria 78, Hardeep Singh 41 not out, Parvez Rasool 32, Ian Dev Singh 30, Vishal Dabholkar 2/66)

OneIndia News/PTI

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