Seamer VRV Singh returned with a five-wicket haul as Punjab dismissed Jammu and Kashmir, chasing a target of 324, for 233 in their second innings. Singh ran through the lower middle-order, dismissing skipper Parveez Rasool (10), Manzoor Dar (10), Obaid Haroon (0) and Samiullah Beigh (2) in quick time to derail Jammu and Kashmir’s chase at the Moti Bagh Stadium in Vadodara.

Punjab will now face Karnataka in the semi-final to be held in Mohali from January 18. First down batsman Hardeep Singh, who was retired hurt at the score of 43 and came back to bat again when the score read 146/7, was unbeaten with a 135-ball 76 that was studded with nine hits to the fence.

Chasing 324, Jammu and Kashmir resumed their second innings at 77-2 today but their hopes of successfully chasing the target for a maiden semi-final appearance in the Ranji Trophy came crashing soon.

In the second over of the day, Ian Dev Singh (18) was sent back to the hut by pacer Manpreet Gony as Jammu and Kashmir slipped to 80 for three. Overnight batsman Hardeep was then retired hurt with the total reading 113 for three, bringing two new batsmen Rasool and Ram Dayal at the crease.

Sandeep Sharma made good use of the opportunity by cleaning up Dayal (14) in the 40th over. VRV Singh triggered a collapse two overs later with a twin-strike in the 43rd over leaving Jammu and Kashmir reeling at 135 for 6.


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