SrinagarJammu and Kashmirs poor run continued Saturday suffering yet another defeat in their Ranji Trophy 2017-18 Group B fixture against Kerala at the St Xavier’s College Ground in Thiruvananthapuram. The visitors were beaten comprehensively with Akshay KC, the offspinner, bagging a five-wicket haul in the second innings to round off a memorable debut as Kerala win the low scoring game by 158 runs. Reduced to 56 for 7 at stumps on Day 3, chasing 238, J&K’s slide continued on the final day as they ended up being bowled out for 79 to hand Kerala their third victory in four games.
This was J&Ks third consecutive defeat after starting the campaign with a draw against Saurahashtra. Going into the brand new season with a horde of off field controversies thanks to Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association and hardly any preparations in the buildup, J&K has had a torrid time thus far suffering two massive innings defeats to go with latest defeat against Kerala.
The loss against Kerala will be put to batsmen flop show. Bowlers-skipper Parvez Rasool in specific- did well to bowl out the hosts for 219 and 191 in the first and second innings respectively but J&K batsmen failed to capitalize surrendering to be bowled out for 173 and nothing 79.
So much so, none of the J&K batsmen crossed 20 in the second innings, with Parvez Rasool’s 17 being the highest individual score. Akshay, who picked up a four-fer in the first innings, finished with match figures of 9 for 58.
Bar Parvez Rasool and young opening pair of Shubham Khajuria and Ahmad Banday, most of the J&K players have been found wanting this season thus far, putting a question mark on certain selections. The support staff-head coach Mithun Manhas-has also come under scrutiny with many wondering whether they are doing their job right or not. A place in the bottom of Group B points table is on cards if a turnaround isnt scripted in the coming fixtures. That looks unlikely, though keeping in view a lot is happening behind the curtains.
Brief scores: Kerala 219 (Sanju Samson 112; Parvez Rasool 6-70) & 191 (Rohan Prem 58; Parvez Rasool 5-70) beat Jammu & Kashmir 173 (Shubham Khajuria 41; Akshay KC 4-37) & 79 (Parvez Rasool 17; Akshay KC 5-21) by 158 runs.
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