Deepak Hooda’s stroke-filled half-century along with impressive show by leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi became the cornerstone of Rajasthan‘s five-wicket win over Jammu and Kashmir in their Elite Group C league game of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in Vadodara on Friday. Rajasthan had started their campaign on a winning note, defeating Jharkhand by six wickets on Thursday. Rajasthan first restricted the opposition to paltry 144/4 after putting them into bat, with Bishnoi (2/25), Tanveer Ul Haq (1/16), Kamlesh Nagarkoti (1/28) among wickets.
Then Hooda anchored the chase with his 28-ball 50 comprising four boundaries and three sixes. J&K lost openers Qamran Iqbal (20) and Vivrant Sharma (15) early and were in spot of bother at 47/2, but Ian Dev Singh rallied the innings with his 33-ball 45, hitting five boundaries and a six.
Skipper Shubham Pundir (16) also could not convert his start and became Bishnoi’s second victim. Ian then found an able partner in hard-hitting batter Abdul Samad (40 not out, 3×4, 2×6) as the two added 46 runs for fourth wicket to take the side beyond the 135-run mark.
Chasing 145, Rajasthan lost the top three batters openers Arjit Gupta (11), Abhimanyu Lamba (1) and Menaria (16) and were teetering at 3/39.
Hooda again rose to the occasion and tore apart the JK attack, as he blazed his way to 50. Hooda along with Mahipal Lomror (41 not out) conjured an 88-run stand for the fourth wicket.
They eventually took the game away from JK. Once Hooda fell, Lomror took the side home, with seven balls to spare, as they added another four points.
Brief Scores:J&K 144/4 (Ian Dev Singh 45, Abdul Samad 40 not out; Ravi Bishnoi 2/25) lost to Rajasthan 148/5 (Deepak Hooda 50, Mahipal Lomror 41 not out; Mujtaba Yousuf 2/26) by five wickets. Andhra 179/4 (Ashwin Hebber 103 not out, K Nithish Kumar Reddy 41; Harshal Patel 2/45) lost to Haryana 180/4 (Himanshu Rana 52, Rahul Tewatia 46 not out; Uddaraju Varma 2/40) by six wickets. Himachal 144/8 (Nikhil Gangta 32; Abhimanyu Rana 26; Monu Kumar 3/31, Anukul Roy 2/18) won against Jharkhand 137/9 (Anukul Roy 39, Anand Singh 34; Ankush Bedi 2/17, Rishi Dhawan 2/38) by seven runs.
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