Left-arm spinner Vanshaj Sharma completed a maiden ten-wicket match haul on his debut as Jammu & Kashmir bowled out Pondicherry for 67, in its 87-run chase, to win by 19 runs on day three of the elite Group-D match in the sixth round of the Ranji Trophy at the Cricket Association of Pondicherry (CAP) Siechem ground here on Sunday.
Vanshaj had claimed his maiden five-for (five for 74) in Pondicherry’s first innings and followed it up with five for 16 in the second.
Left-arm spinner Abid Mushtaq, who completed his second ten-wicket match haul (five for 64, and five for 28) in First-Class cricket on Saturday to reduce Pondicherry to 35 for seven, was adjudged the Player-of-the-match.
With this capitulation, Pondicherry’s quarterfinal qualification chances look bleak.
Jammu & Kashmir, on the other had, has given itself a shot at qualification. With 18 points, it is now third-placed in Group-D.
Eleven of Pondicherry’s 32 runs came off extras on the day where play lasted only 12.3 overs.
Pondicherry captain Rohit Damodaran tried to score as quickly as possible. He charged at off-spinner Sahil Lotra and hit a four to the cow corner boundary in the first over of the day.
His partner and left-hander Sidak Singh was caught by Qamran Iqbal at short leg off Vanshaj on the ninth over. Qamran had to parry and take the catch. In the last ball of that over, Gaurav Yadav was dropped at cover on zero.
In the tenth over, Rohit played a paddle sweep off Abid for four to the fine-leg boundary.
In the following over, Gaurav edged his shot off Vanshaj, for it to pop up high in the air - Lotra took the catch, running towards cover point from gully. In the last ball of that over, Vanshaj pulled out from his delivery to warn non-striker Sagar Udeshi for unfairly backing up too far.
Rohit was the last wicket to fall on the thirteenth over, as he charged at Vanshaj and missed the ball to be stumped.
In a match that had the then leading wicket-taker of the season Gaurav Yadav and India pacer Umran Malik, pacers bowled only four overs and spinners picked up all the forty wickets.
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