Alur (Karnataka): 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, here 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 by 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.
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