Excelsior Sports Correspondent
JAMMU, Jan 31: An extraordinary impressive half-century by talented Pranav Gupta and a quick-fire knock and economic bowling show by explosive Manzoor Dar (popularly known as Mann Pandov), coupled with splendid bowling display by speedsters Umar Nazir and Ramdayal Punia and leg-spinner Manik Gupta helped Jammu and Kashmir to crush Harbhajan Singh led formidable Punjab by 26 runs in the ongoing Mushtaq Ali T20 Cricket Tournament at Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh, today.
Win this win J&K created history as it is the first ever win of Jammu and Kashmir against the star-studded team of Punjab in T20 matches.
Earlier, winning the toss and batting first, J&K sailed on a brilliant unbeaten knock of 52 runs by Pranav Gupta scored a modest total of 127 runs in the stipulated 20 overs, losing 7 wickets in the process. Pranav, who is a class act when on song, was in awesome touch and struck the ball with grace and fluidity, hitting 5 fours and 2 sixes in his magnificent knock, while aggressive Manzoor Dar sent the bowlers on a leather-hunt, hitting 2 boundaries and 3 massive sixes in his 10-ball 26 runs. After hitting 12-ball 27 runs including 3 sixes and 2 fours against Services yesterday, Manzoor shone with the willow and ball again, showing glimpses of a dangerous all-rounder in making. Jatin Wadhawan was the only other batsman to cross the double figure mark, scoring 12 runs off 15 balls. For Punjab, Nikhil Chaudhary took 3 wickets, Manpreet Gony bagged 2, while Sandeep Sharma and Sidharth Kaul claimed one wicket each.
In reply, J&K bowlers led by Umar Nazir and Ramdayal bowled with nagging line and teasing length to bundle out Punjab for paltry 101 runs, thus won the match by 26 runs. Umar bowled 4 overs and took 4 important wickets by conceding 15 runs, while Ramdayal took 3 wickets in his 4 overs by giving away 18 runs. In his 3.3 overs, Manik Gupta took 2 wickets, conceding 19 runs, while Manzoor Dar gave away 17 runs in his 4 overs, claiming 1 important wicket.
The Jammu and Kashmir team is being accompanied by Ashinder Kaul as manager and Abdul Qayoom as coach, while Mithun Manhas is the head coach, Dr Aijaz Chillu is accompanying the team as Physiotherapist, while Mushtaq Rather is the trainer. Joint Secretary of JKCA (Kashmir wing), Shiban Lal Trakroo was the match observer.
Meanwhile, Minister for Sports, Molvi Imran Raza Ansari, General Secretary of JKCA, Iqbal Ahmed Shah and working committee member, Ankush Abrol has congratulated the team for this historic win against strong Punjab.