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Parvez Rasool keeps J&K in the hunt

Vadodara: Jammu and Kashmir captain Parvez Rasool continued his brilliant all-round performance with a five-wicket haul on Friday as their Ranji Trophy quarter final match seemed headed for an exciting finish with Punjab leaving them with a target of 324 for a historic victory, here.

At stumps on the third day, J&K were 77 for two needing another 247 runs with eight wickets in hand to make it to their maiden semi-final appearance. Hardeep Singh (20) and Ian Dev Singh (17) were at the crease at close. Although two days are still left in the match, an outcome is expected on Saturday with J&K batsmen showing a lot of positive intent in the 20 overs they batted on Friday.

After scoring a sparkling century to keep the first innings lead down to 24, Rasool grabbed five for 58 in 14.2 overs, polishing off Punjab’s middle and lower-order to bowl them out for 296. This was Rasool’s sixth five-wicket haul in 29th first-class match.

Earlier on the day, Mandeep Singh (101) and Gurkeerat Singh (66) put up a 113-run partnership for the seventh wicket after Punjab were reduced to 112 for six with the dismissal of India discard Yuvraj Singh (40).

In Mumbai, Maharashtra fought their way back in their quarter final against Mumbai in a brilliant fashion by bundling out the defending champions for a meagre 129 in the second innings on a dramatic third day.

Maharashtra were all out for 280 in their first innings in reply to Mumbai’s 402, thereby conceding a lead of 122 runs, but the visiting bowlers brought their side back into the game by dismissing the hosts for just 129 on a day which saw 14 wickets fall.

Mumbai were in an even worse situation as they were reduced to 29 for five at one stage before some rearguard action from the lower order batting took the score past 100-mark.

Maharashtra medium pace trio of Anupam Sanklecha (4/57), Shrikant Mundhe (3/26) and Samad Fallah (3/45) captured all the ten Mumbai second innings wickets with a fine exhibition of seam bowling on a Wankhede Stadium track that offered bounce and pace.

In Bangalore, Uttar Pradesh came back strongly to keep their hopes alive for an interesting finish as they needed another 278 runs with nine wickets in hand to register an outright victory over Karnataka in their quarter final at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

In reply to Karnataka’s 349 all out, UP declared their innings at 221 for nine and their bowlers came back strongly to skittle Karnataka for 204 in their second innings.