Mahendra Singh Dhoni scored only 9 runs on his return to domestic cricket but Jharkhand managed to beat a spirited Jammu and Kashmir by 9 runs in the opening group B league match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy on Thursday.
Batting first, Jharkhand were all out for 210 in 50 overs but then bowled well to restrict J&K to 201 for seven in 50 overs.
Dhoni, who played for his home state after eight long years, lasted 24 balls before he tried to hit 22-year-old left-arm spinner Waseem Raza and in the process was caught Parveez Rasool.
India’s limited overs captain came into bat at the start of the 21st over but the slowness of the pitch made it difficult to play his strokes.
Save a solitary boundary, he found it difficult to even nudge around as Rasool (1/30 in 10 overs) and Raza (3/21 in 10 overs) kept batsmen under check.
Apart from Ishank Jaggi, who scored 54 opening the innings and Kaushal Singh (53), none of the other Jharkhand players even crossed 20.
When J&K batted, it was the turn of left-arm spinner and IPL regular Shahbaz Nadeem (3/28) to torment the opposition while India’s Test pacer Varun Aaron (0/52 in 10 overs) was taken to task by Rasool.
While Aaron captained the side, it was virtually Dhoni, who led the side as his experience of bowling changes came in handy in the end.
Opener Shubham Khajuria (60) wasted too many balls during his 106-ball knock. Rasool looked in good touch scoring 63 off 67 balls before he was bowled off a Jaskaran delivery ending J&K chances of winning the match.
Brief Scores: Jharkhand 210 in 50 overs (MS Dhoni 9, Ishank Jaggi 54, Kaushal Singh 53, Waseem Raza 3/31)
Jammu and Kashmir 201/7 in 50 overs (Parveez Rasool 63, Shubham Khajuria 60, Shahbaz Nadeem 3/28). Jharkhand won by 9 runs. Points: Jharkhand 4; J&K 0.
Mumbai down Punjab by 5 wickets in Vijay Hazare
Opener Jay Bista and Abhishek Nayar’s timely knocks helped Mumbai outplay Punjab by five wickets to gather four crucial points in the Group A Vijay Hazare cricket match on Thursday.
Chasing 255 for a win at Gymkhana Ground, Mumbai cantered home in 45.1 overs with Nayar unbeaten on 44.
But Bista’s 92 it was that laid the foundation for a relatively smooth chase that was hit in between by pace
spearhead Siddarth Kaul’s three wickets.
Earlier Punjab skipper Yuvraj Singh hit a run-a-ball 93 to help his side manage 254 all out in 48.1 overs.
Mumbai medium-pacers Dhawal Kulkarni and Sagar Trivedi kept hurting the Punjab batting as they picked up three wickets each. Left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdullah and part-time off-spinner Bista also shared two wickets apiece.
Punjab 254 all out on 48.1 overs (Yuvraj Singh 93, Mandeep Singh 41; Dhawal Kulkarni 3-41, Sagar Trivedi 3-21)
Mumbai 255/5 in 45.1 overs (Jay Bista 92, Abhishek Nayar 44 not out; Siddarth Kaul 3-58).