Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: J&K registers its first win

Chasing 128 on a pitch that had enough lateral movement to make batting difficult, Punjab, having elected to field first, folded up for 101 with three balls to spare.

Ram Dayal Jammu & Kashmir

Ram Dayal picked three wickets to play a crucial part in J&K's win.   -  G. Ramakrishna

Punjab suffered a batting collapse and its second defeat in the competition, losing by 26 runs even as Jammu & Kashmir registered its first victory in the North Zone T20 League here on Tuesday.

Chasing 128 on a pitch that had enough lateral movement to make batting difficult, Punjab, having elected to field first, folded up for 101 with three balls to spare. It was unable to counter the precision and pace of the lesser-known J&K fast bowlers. Umar Nazir picked up four wickets and Ram Dayal got three from the other end, choking runs at the same time to frustrate Punjab.

Full Scorecard: >J&K v Punjab; >Haryana v Services; >Himachal v Delhi

Manan Vohra and Pargat Singh started well before Vohra holed out Dayal to Dar at mid-on and the rest of Punjab batsmen seemed unwilling to hang around for long. Vohra had begun looking comfortable, having struck Dayal for three boundaries through long off, extra cover and third man, before falling to a slower ball.

Despite the fact that strokeplay has not been easy here, given the cold conditions and a weak sun that ensures the pitch retains moisture and the ball doesn't come on to the bat easily, the Punjab batsmen all fell trying to go for the big hits; some just didn't get a chance to play one. The J&K bowlers still managed to work up decent pace and constantly beat the bat. Only a brief resistance by Anmolpreet Singh and Sharad Lumba towards the end helped Punjab cross the 100-run mark.

J&K had a poor start as well but found a match-winner in Pranav Gupta, whose unbeaten 52 ensured a fighting total for his team. Along with Manzoor Dar, who smashed 26 in just 10 balls in only his second T20 game, the 23-year old Gupta steadied the innings, content with ones and twos before sending the occasional bad ball to the ropes, stitching small but crucial partnerships with the lower order to keep the scoreboard moving.

In the other match, Haryana downed Services by 16 runs. Electing to bat, Haryana piled up 166 for seven, the highest team total here so far. Rahul Tewatia slammed a 17-ball 40, including three sixes in an over off Diwesh Pathania. In reply, Services could only reach 150 as the Haryana bowlers kept a tight line to restrict scoring.

At Amtar, Delhi's batting woes continued as the star-studded side, chasing 164, could only manage 115 for nine wickets, losing to Himachal by 48 runs. Milind Kumar (31) and Pradeep Sangwan (24) provided a minor resistance with a 45-run partnership for the sixth wicket; they were also the only ones, besides Shikhar Dhawan and Pawan Negi, to reach double digits. Seamer Pankaj Jaswal picked up four wickets for Himachal.

Brief scores: North Zone:

J&K 127 for seven in 20 overs (Pranav Gupta 52 not out, Manzoor Dar 26; Nikhil Chaudhary three for 36, Manpreet Grewal two for 23) bt Punjab 101 all out in 19.3 overs (Umar Nazir four for 15, Ram Dayal three for 18, Manik Gupta two for 19) by 26 runs. Points: J&K 4, Punjab 0.

Haryana 166 for seven in 20 overs (Rahul Tewatia 40, jayant Yadav 29, Shivam Chauhan 24; Nishan Singh three for 49) bt Services 150 for five in 20 overs (Amit Pachhara 37 not out, Rahul Singh Gahlaut 34, Aanshul Gupta 31, Hardik Sethi 26) by 16 runs. Points: Haryana 4, Services 0.

Himachal 163 for five in 20 overs (Paras Dogra 42, Rishi Dhawan 37 not out, Bipul Sharma 32 not out; Manan Sharma three for 17) bt Delhi 115 for nine in 20 overs (Milind Kumar 31, Pradeep Sangwan 24; Pankaj Jaswal four for 22, Akshay Chauhan two for 29) by 48 runs. Points: Himachal 4, Delhi 0.

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