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Eighth-placed Jammu and Kashmir made a positive start to their Ranji Trophy 2018-19 Round 8 Elite C match against Assam pocketing a first-innings lead on the back of a shoddy batting performance by the home side in Guwahati on Sunday.

Put into bat, J&K struck first blood with India allrounder Irfan Pathan dismissing Biplab Saikia for a duck in the fourth delivery. Debutant fast bowler Rasikh Salam then snapped the wicket of Rahul Hazarika, who departed for 4 and then returned two overs later to send Gokul Sharma for 8.

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Sarupam Purkayastha was cleaned up by Pathan as Assam, placed fourth in the table, were tottering at 24/2 in the 11th over. Rishav Das’ resistance ended after he was castled by Rohit Sharma for 12 off 41. Skipper Amit Sinha, who notched a half-century in Assam’s previous match against Goa failed to get going and was dismissed by Umar Nazir for 11.

None of the middle order registered noteworthy contributions. However, at the end, Assam were helped to 128 thanks to a 54-run partnership for the last wicket between Mukhtar Hussain and Mrinmoy Dutta. The partnership was ended after Hussain was cleaned up by Nazir, who picked up his third wicket. Hussain departed for 25 to leave Dutta stranded on 35.

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For J&K, Nazir and Sharma were the pick of the bowlers with three wickets each. Skipper Parvez Rasool went wicketless in his two overs.

In reply, Mukhtar Hussain joined the action with the ball to see the back of J&K opener Ahmad Omar Banday for a six-ball duck and Shubham Khajuria for 4. However, the other opener Qamran Iqbal proved to be the rock of the J&K innings scoring 64 off 113. His knock was laced with six boundaries and two sixes. Pathan chipped in with 35 runs, while Rasool was off colour with the bat and added just 2 to the total.

For Assam, Hussain, who picked up a fifer, returned with best first-class figures of 5/39 to improve on his previous best of 5/73. Arup Das snapped three for 52, but the visiting side walked away with a slender first-innings lead of 16 runs.

In their second dig, Assam were six for no loss when stumps were drawn on the opening day which saw 20 wickets fall.

Brief scores: Assam 128 all out (Umar Nazir 3/31, Rohit Sharma 3/43) and 6/0 trail Jammu and Kashmir 144 (Qamran Iqbal 64; Mukhtar Hussain 5/39, Arup Das 3/52) by 10 runs