After conceding the first innings lead to Mumbai, Railways put up a good fight and dominated almost four sessions in their Ranji Trophy Group A match that ended in a drab draw at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday.
Mumbai got three points while Railways had to be content with one point.
Railways skipper Sanjay Bangar lauded his team for not giving up. “We competed in all departments of the game and our boys showed a lot of character against a side like Mumbai which had the likes of Sachin (Tendulkar), Zaheer (Khan), Ajit (Agarkar), Rohit (Sharma) and others. Showing such spirit in the first match is a positive for us and will set the tone for the rest of the reason,” Bangar said after the match.
Sachin’s knock crucial
According to Bangar, it was Tendulkar’s innings that took the game away from Railways. “I think Sachin made the difference in the third session of the first day. If we had to chase something around 500, we could have done that. But 570 was too big a score,” he said.
The veteran all-rounder, who scored 67, was disappointed that Railways’ batsmen failed to convert good starts into big scores. “Three of us failed to convert our fifties and sixties into big knocks. This is the area of concern for us, but I hope we will overcome this in the coming matches,” Bangar rued. Nitin Bhille (73) and Mahesh Rawat (68) looked settled when they were dismissed on a wicket that hardly assisted the bowlers.
Bangar was critical of the Wankhede strip too. “Had the wicket been livelier, we could have had an interesting match here,” he added.
Railways ended their first innings on 426, thus avoiding the follow-on and denying the 39-time Ranji Trophy champions an outright victory.
In reply, Mumbai were 230 for five when the match was called off. Opener Kaustubh Pawar scored a brilliant 85 while Ajinkya Rahane produced another gem, an 84-run knock coming in at No 3. Rohit Sharma (20) and Abhishek Nayar (nought) though were dismissed cheaply. With the match heading for a draw, Mumbai chose to have batting practice for almost three sessions yesterday. But Tendulkar didn’t come to bat.
UP stun star-studded Delhi
Uttar Pradesh chased down a target of 155 runs to easily beat a star-studded Delhi on Day Four of their opening Ranji Trophy Group B tie here at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium yesterday. Delhi, boasting the likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma, were expected to get the better of Uttar Pradesh, but the 2005-06 champions dominated the match from Day One and overcame the seven-time winners.
Sehwag (107) returned to form with a swashbuckling century even as the Suresh Raina-led side won the match by six wickets.
The home team had scored 403 in its first attempt while Delhi made 235 and 322.