Strengthened by the return of the M.S.
Strengthened by the return of the M.S. Dhoni to the side, Jharkhand began their Vijay Hazare Trophy campaign with a narrow five-run win over Jammu & Kashmir at the KSCA Golden Oval grounds at the outskirts, here on Thursday.
In a closely contested game, J&K chasing down a modest 210 were restricted to 205 for seven despite Shubham Khajuria (60, 106b, 7x4, 1x6) and Parvez Rasool’s (63, 67b, 7x4, 1x6) valiant knokcs. Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem (3-28) was the chief wrecker while pacer Rahul Shukla grabbed 2-30.
For Varun Aaron’s side, Ishank Jaggi (54, 72b, 11x4) and Kaushal Singh (53, 64b, 5x4, 1x6) fired with the willow even as Dhoni failed to fire.
Pranav Gupta and Shubham gave J&K a steady start but the speedster troika of Aaron, Shukla and Jaskaran Singh were too quick handle.
Opener Khajuria and the aggressive Rasool added 104 runs for the fourth wicket to keep them in hunt.
Before the game slipped away, the vastly experienced Dhoni took charge of the captaincy from Aaron to guide his young side home.
Earlier, considering the overcast conditions J&K skipper Mithun Manhas opted to put the opposition in on a grassy deck.
Spearhead Rohit Sharma was right on the mark to strike early to get rid off Ankit Dabas while his opening partner Jaggi was confidence personified. For the second wicket, Anand Singh joined Jaggi garnering 62 runs.
Left-arm orthodox spinner Waseem Raza (3-31) had Anand stumped and soon Saurabh Tiwary ran himself out. The motley crowd perched on the side walls of the Oval roared in delight as Dhoni walked in at No. 5.The spectators cheered every ball as long as the India ODI captain was the at the crease.
Playing for the first time since the ODI series against South Africa in October, Dhoni was cautious. Following a maiden over, Raza got the prized wicket of Dhoni as Rasool latched on to a one-handed stunner at slips to make it 96-5. Dhoni made a slow 24-ball 9 (1x4).
The lower-order, however, came up with crucial contributions to give Jharkhand enough runs on the board to defend.