Excelsior Sports Correspondent
JAMMU, Nov 26: J&K’s batting mainstay Shubham Khajuria was at his vintage best as he smashed power-packed 76 runs and another opener Qamran Iqbal’s bold and potentially match-winning innings demonstrated again that he is so much more than a crude slogger, while speedsters Auqib Nabi and Yudhvir Singh seem to have come a long way in a short period of time as J&K thrashed formidable Kerala by 7 wickets to seal berth in the historic quarterfinals of the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy at Gujarat College Cricket Ground A, Ahmedabad today.
Earlier, put into bat by J&K skipper Shubham Pundir, Kerala scored a modest total of 174 runs in 47.4 overs. Vinoop Sheela Manoharan top scored with 62 runs off 81 balls, studded with 7 fours, while Sijomon Joseph and Akhil Scaria contributed 32 and 23 runs to the total respectively. Auqib Nabi was the pick of the bowlers for J&K, who captured 4 important wickets by conceding 39 runs in his 10 overs, while Yudhvir Singh was the most economical bowlers, who conceded just 16 runs in his 7.4 overs and took 2 wickets. Mujtaba Yousuf, Vivrant Sharma, Abid Mushtaq and Sahil Lotra claimed 1 wicket each.
In reply, J&K chased the target easily in 37.5 overs, losing 3 wickets in the process, thus won the match by 7 wickets. Shubham Khajuria and Qamran Iqbal showed stellar grit and tenacity to notch up brilliant half-centuries and make a partnership of 133 runs in a low scoring affair, while Henan Malik and Fazil Rashid completed the formality in style. Shubham was in sublime touch, scoring 76 off 61 deliveries, studded with 5 boundaries and 6 sixes, while otherwise explosive Qamran took 96 balls to make 51 with 7 boundaries. Henan and Fazil made unbeaten 14 and 13 runs respectively while Vivrant contributed 13 runs to the total.
J&K will take on Assam in the quarterfinals on November 28.
The team is being accompanied by former International cricketer Ajay Sharma as coach, Rajan Singh and Sandeep Singh as Manager and Co-Manager respectively, Tanmay Srivastava as Fielding Coach, Sunny Kumar as Trainer, Danish Idrees as Performance Analyst, Jatinder Gupta as Physio and Naresh as Masseur.
The Sub Committee Members of JKCA congratulated the team for this splendid victory.
“#VijayHazareTrophy2022. Congratulations JKCA seniors for creating history by entering the QF. Well done the Team. You are inching close to scripting new chapter in the history of Indian cricket. Entire JK is looking forward to the QF match vs Assam. Play to win. #JKCA,” tweeted Brig Gupta.