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Railways thrashes Bengal to enter quarterfinals

Principal Correspondent


Railways gets six points (including a bonus) to gather 17 points from seven matches

NEW DELHI: Railways thrashed Bengal by an innings and 10 runs at the Karnail Singh Stadium here on Saturday and booked a berth in the quarterfinals of the Ranji Trophy.

It was a huge achievement for Railways, which at one stage was anxious about its survival in the Super League. After the turnaround in its fortune in the engagement against Delhi, Railways got six points (including a bonus) because of Saturday's win to gather 17 points from seven matches. It finished at the second spot in Group A.

It was a matter of completing the formalities on the final day and seasoned pacer J.P. Yadav did it for Railways within 48 minutes. With Arindam Das's injured left hand placed in a sling, the host had to take three more wickets to move forward.

Bengal, starting at the overnight score of 105 for six, lost Ranadeb Bose (0) in the fourth over of the day. Ashok Dinda and Iresh Saxena also departed before opening the account.

Bright spot

The only bright spot for Bengal was Laxmi Ratan Shukla's unbeaten 58 (110b, 114m, 8x4). Shukla, who resumed at his overnight score of 31, tried in vain to thwart the impending innings defeat. However, the visiting side's second innings folded up for just 134.

Yadav made the best use of the favourable morning conditions and Mahesh Rawat helped him by taking some fine catches behind the stumps. Yadav was delighted to achieve his 18th five-wicket haul in a winning cause. “I focussed on my fitness as I was making a return after three years. I tried to bowl in the right areas and got the reward for it,” said the 36-year-old, who has accumulated 30 wickets so far in this season.

Railways captain Sanjay Bangar was pleased with his team's fightback in the tournament. “We were fortunate that we played on a result-oriented wicket at Roshanara (against Delhi). That gave us a chance to come back in the tournament. Here, we applied ourselves well. When we bowled them out for 201 in the first innings, we were pretty sure that it would be an uphill task for Bengal,” he said. Bangar agreed that a new-look team made the difference and urged his batsmen to play bigger knocks.

Bengal skipper Manoj Tiwary observed that his players needed to “rectify their skill level” in order to perform better.

The scores:

Bengal – 1st innings: 201.

Railways – 1st innings: 345.

Bengal – 2nd innings: G. Basu lbw b J.P. Yadav 19, A. Majumdar b J.P. Yadav 3, D. Chakraborty c S. Bangar b M. Kartik 21, M. Tiwary lbw b M. Kartik 17, S. Ganguly b Anureet Singh 7, L.R. Shukla (not out) 58, S. Lahiri lbw b N. Chauhan 0, R. Bose c M. Rawat b J.P. Yadav 0, A. Dinda c M. Rawat b J.P. Yadav 0, I. Saxena c M. Rawat b J.P. Yadav 0, Extras (b-2, lb-6, wd-1) 9, Total (for nine wkts. in 67.2 overs) 134.

Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-22, 3-55, 4-72, 5-94, 6-95, 7-109, 8-117.

Railways bowling: J.P. Yadav 14.2-2-20-5, Anureet Singh 10-1-36-1, M. Kartik 26-9-50-2, S. Bangar 10-3-11-0, N. Chauhan 6-3-4-1, K. Sharma 1-0-5-0.

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