Jammu and Kashmir extended their dream run to the quarterfinals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy with a seven-wicket win over Kerala here on Saturday. In-form Auqib Nabi produced a career-best performance of 4/39 as Jammu and Kashmir bundled out Kerala for just 174 in 47.4 overs. In reply, J&K chased down the target in 37.5 overs with Shubman Khajuria (76) and Kamran Iqbal (51) scoring half-centuries and their 113-run partnership in 21.4 overs.
Khajuria has been in his best form, hitting six sixes and five fours in his 61-ball innings. This is his fourth consecutive half-century this season. However, he was run out for the second consecutive time, due to which Jammu and Kashmir lost three wickets by adding just 32 runs. But there was no pressure from the scoreboard as Henan Nazir and Fazil Rashid took their side to their sixth win in seven matches this season. Jammu and Kashmir will now take on Group B toppers Assam in the quarterfinals here on Monday.
Nabi, Yudhveer Singh (2/16) and left-arm pacer Mujtaba Yusuf (1/37) dismissed seven batsmen. Opener Vinup Manoharan top-scored for Kerala with 62 off 81 balls. Sijomon Joseph scored 32 runs. Nabi and Yudhveer have had a stellar season, picking up 12 wickets each in seven matches. The Ajay Sharma-coached side had pulled off an upset by defeating defending Ranji champions Madhya Pradesh. Jammu and Kashmir also won Vadodara, Odisha and Nagaland without much trouble. Their only defeat came at the top of Group D, Punjab, which saw them finish second in the league stage.