Skipper elated after Jammu & Kashmir pip Goa on quotient to enter quarter-finals
Rajasthan stunned everyone by their back-to-back triumphs in the Ranji Trophy (in 2010-11 and 2011-12) before Mumbai warded off Services and Saurasthra to restore natural order in the competition last year.
Jammu & Kashmir skipper Parvez Rasool finished with 7-87 in the second innings yesterday
This season of India’s premier domestic tournament has thrown up another dark horse in the form of Jammu & Kashmir and their quarter-final clash against Punjab between January 8-12 in Baroda will be followed keenly.
J&K were locked in an intense battle for the second spot in Group ‘C’ and managed to pip Goa by the narrowest of margins after both teams finished their league engagements on 28 points. While J&K enjoyed a quotient of 1.006, Goa managed 1.005 leading to their heartbreaking ouster.
The boys from J&K who claimed three crucial points against Tripura in Agartala yesterday were ecstatic when they came to know that they were the ones entering the last eight despite Goa’s win over Andhra Pradesh in Porvorim on Wednesday.
“I really can’t explain how happy we are at the moment,” J&K skipper Parvez Rasool told MiD DAY yesterday. “We are thrilled and the hard work we have put in throughout the year is bearing fruit,” added Rasool who has led from the front, amassing 550 runs and taking 21 wickets from eight games.
Rasool claimed 7-87 yesterday and was responsible for Tripura’s collapse in the second innings. He then stayed unbeaten on 35 to guide his side to 87-2 at close. This is the first time that J&K have made the quarters of the Ranji Trophy but Rasool is confident that they will give a good account of themselves against their favoured opponents.
‘Nothing to lose’
“We have nothing to lose against Punjab, so we will only focus on giving our best and leave the rest to Allah,” he added. One glance at the performance charts, and it becomes eminently clear that J&K haven’t relied on one or two individuals to deliver the goods in the long-winding season, and that is something which Rasool is extremely proud of.
“It becomes difficult for a team to progress if they are going to depend only one one-two players. I can very happily say that my entire team has contributed to our success.”
J&K who won four of their eight games in the league stage had as many as seven players featuring in all the games and that was important in the context of the side experiencing a sense of stability. “We are lucky that all of us ended up putting up consistent performances so there was not much need to tinker with the playing XI,” explained Rasool.
What would also have fired up the players is the high-handedness they experienced at the hands of the J&K police who searched their rooms ‘for a dangerous person’ after midnight on December 24 in Jammu, preventing them from decent rest during their game against Hyderabad.
Brief scores: Tripura 280 & 272 in 103.5 overs (Abhijit Dey 63, Kaushik Acharjee 35; Pervez Rasool 7-87) vs J&K 325 & 87-2 in 25 overs (Pervez Rasool 37 not out, Bandeep Singh 37; Manisankar Murasingh 1-12)