Auqib, Mujtaba, Rasool, Khajuria put J&K on front foot in Ranji QF

*Restrict Karnataka to 206, sight first innings lead

Excelsior Sports Correspondent
JAMMU, Feb 22: After the trio of youngsters Mujtaba Yousuf and Auqib Nabi along with their skipper Parvez Rasool bowled heart out to restrict formidable Karnataka to 206 runs in the first innings on day three of the Ranji Trophy quarterfinals, opening batsman Shubham Khajuria showed serenity and composure to score sedate unbeaten 39 runs and help Jammu and Kashmir to be in a good position to take the crucial first-innings lead at GGM Science College Hostel Ground, here.
A full day’s play was finally possible after not a single ball was bowled on day two due to unfit playing conditions following a brief spell of rain, while only six overs were possible on day one.
Earlier, resuming the day from an overnight score of 14 for two, Karnataka somehow managed to get past the 200-run mark with K Siddharth scoring patient 76 runs off 189 balls. Skipper Karun Nair was dismissed by Auqib Nabi on the second ball of the day today.
It was a disciplined bowling performance from the home team with Nabi and his new ball partner Mujtaba Yousuf taking three wickets each.
J&K skipper and off-spinner Parvez Rasool ran though the tail, ending with three wickets including that of Siddharth. Auqib took 3 wickets by conceding 45 runs in 17 overs, while Mujtaba captured 3 wickets by giving away 45 runs in 16 overs and Rasool bagged 3 wickets by conceding 36 runs in his 12.1 overs.
In response, J&K were 88 for two at stumps, needing another 119 runs to take the first-innings lead.
With two days left in the game, the lead could prove decisive in JK’s bid to make their first-ever Ranji Trophy semifinals.
However, cricket being the game of glorious uncertainties, predicting things is simply meaningless.
At stumps on the third day, Shubham Khajuria was batting on 39 and Shubham Pundir on 16.
Brief scores: Karnataka 206 all out in 69.1 overs (Siddharth 76; Nabi 3/45, Yousuf 3/45). J&K 88/2 in 34 overs (Khajuria 39 batting, Pundir 16 batting).