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Irfan Pathan swings J&K to a win in the Ranji Trophy right ahead of the IPL 2019 auction

With a lot of cricket yet to be played in the season Irfan has certainly made a statement.

Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: CricTracker)

In Round 6 of the Ranji Trophy 2018-19, the Jammu & Kashmir team was playing a tough opponent in tough conditions. The Lahli wicket in Rohtak, Haryana is one of the greenest pitches in India. Though 161 is in no way a formidable total for a team batting first it couldn’t stop J&K from beating Haryana in their backyard eventually by 130 runs. That also had a lot to do with the fact that Irfan Pathan bagged a five-wicket haul in the last innings to handicap the Haryana chase.

On day 1, all the visiting team lasted was 47.1 overs before being bowled out – the best effort with the bat was by their number 8 who contributed 26 runs. Two Chahals – Ajit a medium fast bowler and Yuzvendra, the India leg-spinner together accounted for 6 wickets a to turn the tide in favour of their team pretty early in the game.

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It was a decent enough start for Haryana with the bat as they had 127 runs on the board for the loss of 3 wickets before RP Sharma got out to Umar Nazir for 41. Thereafter the J&K bowlers let them add just 19 runs to the total against the remaining 6 wickets. Nazir was also the pick of the bowlers with a fifer as Mohammed Mudhasir got four. Haryana were bowled out for 145 and a lead as slender as 16 runs gave Jammu immense confidence.

Irfan runs through Haryana top order

In the second essay, they got to 205 runs on the back of a 71-run knock from Owais Shah. The target for the hosts was 221 and before they got a sense was what hit them Irfan ran through the top order. He first sent Ankit Kumar packing in the fifth over of the innings, clean bowled. The left-arm seamer’s next victim was Rana who was caught by Obaid Haroon. In the same ninth over he hit RP Sharma on the pads in front of the stumps and was back in the hut.

Haryana were three down for 36 in 9 overs now. They were in deep trouble and it intensified further when Irfan cleaned up Bishnoi for 14, Pramod Chandila could add just 2 runs to the total before surrendering to the same bowler and they were 5/50 in the 19th over all five dismissals to the senior pro’s name.

The writing was already on the wall now, hostile conditions and a class display of swing bowling helped Jammu bowl out Haryana for just 91 runs in 33.3 overs. Thus they won the game by 130 runs adding six valuable points to their points tally.

Irfan pleased with the win and his rhythm

Irfan, the star of the second innings used his skills to great effect. His experience was at the fore as well, he set the batsmen up with the deliveries that shaped away and then brought one back in to strike. He was extremely pleased to have helped the team grab a win at this stage in the competition.

He has bowled really well in the ongoing season though the wickets tally doesn’t necessarily tell you how effective he was in the initial few games, the 34-year-old has 10 wickets in 6 games. Being an all-rounder he has also contributed with the bat scoring 335 runs including three fifty-plus scores one of which was a 91. Irfan also smashed four sixes in an over during the game against UP which was a display of his clean hitting abilities.

“This was a much-needed win for the team, we’re very happy with the overall progress we’ve made as a unit. Beating a side like Haryana is never easy and doing it at their home makes it bigger,” Irfan told CricTracker after the game.

The seamer is also happy with his rhythm and how the ball is coming out of his hand. He swung the ball and constantly made life difficult for the batsmen to give most people memories of his glorious performances at the highest level.

“Personally also very positive with how the ball is coming out of my hand and the final shape of the delivery. This round I was able to do most things as I had planned, so that helps with the outcome also. Getting a five-wicket haul in a winning cause is always special and will definitely give me a lot of confidence moving forward in the season. There’s a lot of cricket to look forward to,” Pathan added.

With a lot of cricket yet to be played in the season Irfan Pathan has certainly made a statement. In fact, bagging figures of 13-6-18-5 right before the IPL 2019 auction and the fact that his bat has been doing a lot of talking as well certainly makes him a prospect to look forward to for the franchises.

As they say, no performance goes unnoticed by the IPL scots – for all that he brings to the table and a base price of Rs 50 lakhs Irfan certainly is someone a lot of teams would want to sign.

Watch his brilliance in the Ranji Trophy

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