Hosts Mumbai took up the challenge set by Railways to score at above four an over and notched up a comprehensive six-wicket victory in the four-day Group B Ranji Trophy game today to move to the top of the table again.
Set a stiff task of scoring 295 in a minimum of 70 overs after Railways declared their second innings closed at 408 for
4, the 40-time champions raced to victory with six overs to spare.
Opener Akhil Herwadkar (75), who scored 145 in their first essay, and in-form batsman Shreyas Iyer (91) laid the platform with a fourth-wickert stand of 143 in 183 balls that brought down the asking rate to less than four.
Though the home team lost both these batsmen and Suryakumar Yadav, skipper Aditya Tare struck form with a fluent 71 not out and also put on an unconquered partnership of 95 for the fifth wicket in 82 minutes and 124 balls to help Mumbai win on a canter.
The only time Mumbai faced some anxiety during the run-chase was when left-arm spinner Sagar Mishra caught and bowled Herwadkar, who struck 7 fours and a six in his 111-ball knock, and Yadav in successive overs.
Mumbai later lost Iyer, who batted fluently once again to carry on from his first innings 57 and struck 5 fours and 2 sixes in his 112-ball innings, when 96 runs were needed four minutes before tea.
The hosts, 203 for 4 at the break, did not take their feet off the pedal and romped home with both Tare, who hit 7 fours in 82 balls, and Lad flaying the attack with impunity.
Railways were let down by their fielders with four chances going abegging, three of them off Herwadkar off trump card - leg spinner Karn Sharma, who ended up with only Iyer's wicket while going for over 100 runs. Sharma also did not get the sort of purchase he secured in the first innings when he picked up 7 for 91.
While Mumbai picked up six points to take their tally to 26, Railways are out of the reckoning with just 6 points.
Railways 217 and 408 for 4 decl. (S Wakaskar 185, V Cheluvaraj 133 not out; V Dabholkar 3 for 115).
Mumbai 331 and 295 for 4 (A Herwadkar 75, S Iyer 91, A Tare not out 71, S Lad not out 41; S Mishra 2 for 53).