Jammu and Kashmir continued their rapid rise in the domestic circuit, notching up a stunning four-wicket triumph over 40-time champions Mumbai with more than a session to spare in their Group A Ranji Trophy cricket opener at the Wankhede Stadium.
Chasing a modest target of 237 and commencing at their overnight 58 for one, J&K kept composure despite losing five more wickets to reach the target 73 minutes after lunch on the fourth and final day.
The visitors lost overnight unbeaten batsman Bandeep Singh quite early, but then were aided by small partnerships that steered them home.
First innings centurion Shubhum Khajuria made 78 in 227 minutes before he was fourth out when the side needed 66 more runs for victory.
He added 52 runs with Ian Chauhan (30) in 175 balls for the third wicket to set the side on way to the target after the early loss of overnight not out batsman Bandeep Singh.
Later, Khajuria put on 53 invaluable runs with his captain Parveez Rasool (32) in 63 balls for the fourth wicket to bring J and K closer to the target.
Though both departed at the same score of 171, Hardeep Singh (41 not out) guided the team towards the target by adding 44 runs for the sixth wicket with Waseem Raja.
After the latter’s dismissal, Hardeep, who batted for 104 minutes and hit four fours, added 22 runs for the unconquered seventh wicket with wicketkeeper Obaid Haroon (9 not out) to dash Mumbai’s hopes.
“To beat Mumbai in Mumbai is a great achievement. Our graph has been rising steadily over the last 2-3 years, but we were told playing in elite division is different. We have answered that question,” said Rasool beating the heavyweights in their very first clash in 80 years of the tournament.
Team coach Sunil Joshi said for the first time in the last 20 years, he saw Mumbai batsmen “showing vulnerability against pace bowling.”
Brief scores: Mumbai 236 and 254 lost to J&K 254 and 237 for 6 (Shubham Khajuria 78, Ian Chauhan 30, Rasool 32, Hardeep Singh not out 41, Obaid Haroon not out 9; Vishal Dhabolkar 2 for 67) by four wickets.