Vadodara, Jan 10: Jammu and Kashmir skipper Parveez Rasool continued his brilliant all-round performance with a five-wicket haul as their Ranji Trophy quarter final match seemed headed for an exciting finish with Punjab leaving them with a target of 324 for a historic victory here.
At stumps, J&K were 77 for two needing another 247 runs with eight wickets in hand to make it to their maiden semi-final appearance in the national championship.
Hardeep Singh (20) and Ian Dev Singh (17) were at the crease at close on an eventful third day's play. Although two days are still left in the match, an outcome is expected tomorrow with Jammu and Kashmir batsmen showing a lot of positive intent in the 20 overs they batted today.
After scoring a sparkling century to keep the first innings lead down to 24, Rasool grabbed five for 58 in 14.2 overs, polishing off Punjab's middle and lower-order to bowl them out for 296.
This was Rasool's sixth five-wicket haul in 29th first-class match. Mandeep Singh (101) and Gurkeerat Singh (66) had a 113-run partnership for the seventh wicket after Punjab were reduced to 112 for six with the dismissal of India discard Yuvraj Singh (40).
Rasool got into the act with his classical off-breaks as he first dismissed Yuvraj, who after hitting the offie for a six tried to repeat the the shot only to be caught by Samiullah Beigh at long on.
Yuvraj hit six fours and a six in his 58-ball knock. Mandeep and Gurkeerat scored runs at a quick clip as they added 113 runs at an average of over four runs per over.
Mandeep in his 151-ball knock hit 14 boundaries while Gurkeerat faced 77 deliveries to hit nine fours and a six. Gurkeerat was finally dismissed when Rasool got one to turn enough as the batsman missed the line to be adjudged leg before.