Jammu and Kashmir advanced to the Vijay Hazare Trophy quarterfinals for the first time on Saturday, defeating Kerala by seven wickets in their pre-quarterfinal match at the Gujarat College Cricket Ground ‘A’.
Professionalism is a catchword in the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA), and the game of cricket is undeniably on the rise, as evidenced by the fact that the Jammu and Kashmir Senior Men’s team made history on Wednesday by qualifying for the knockout stage of the prestigious Vijay Hazare Trophy for the first time.
J&K trounced Uttarakhand easily on Wednesday at Wankhede Stadium, making it five victories out of six league matches in the Vijay Hazare Trophy to qualify for the knockout stage.
Auqib Nabi Shined with Ball in Hand
Auqib Nabi starred with a career-best 4/39 to help J&K dismiss Kerala for 174 in 47.4 overs after opting to field in their first-ever Vijay Hazare Trophy quarterfinal encounter. J&K won in 37.5 overs, with Shubham Khajuria (76) and Qamran Iqbal (51) setting the tone with a 113-run opening stand in 21.4 overs.
Khajuria was in top form, slamming 6 sixes and 5 fours in his 61-ball knock, his fourth half-century of the season. However, he was run out for the second time in a row as J&K lost three wickets for 32 runs.
But there was no strain from the board, and Henan Nazir and Fazil Rashid secured their sixth win in seven matches this season.
J&K will now meet Assam, the group B champions, in their quarterfinal here on Monday.
As Kerala failed to get going, the J&K speed combination of Nabi, Yudhvir Singh (2/16), and left-arm bowler Mujtaba Yousuf (1/37) accounted for seven batters.
Vinoop Maoharan top-scored for Kerala with an 81-ball 62, but Yudhvir dismissed him in the 32nd over, triggering the collapse, before Nabi caused havoc with a fantasy spell. Nabi and Yudhvir have done particularly well for J&K this season, each taking 12 wickets in seven matches.
They also easily overcame Baroda, Odisha, and Nagaland. Their single defeat came against Punjab, who finished second in the league stage.
Kerala: 174 all out in 47.4 overs (Vinoop Manoharan 62, Sijomon Joseph 32; Auqib Nabi 4/39, Yudhvir Singh 2/16) lost by seven wickets to Jammu and Kashmir 175/3 in 37.5 overs (Shubham Khajuria 76, Qamran Iqbal 51; Sijomon Joseph 2/19).