Bengal spinners disappoint as Railways take control

Thursday, December 16, 2010

NEW DELHI - Bengal spinners put on a disappointing show on a turner, allowing Railways to take a first innings lead of 49 runs after the end of second day’s play in their crucial Ranji Trophy Super League match here Thursday.

At draw of stumps after the day’s play, Railways were 250 for six, in reply to Bengal’s 201, with Dhiran Salvi batting on 35 and Jai Prakash Yadav 8 at the Karnail Singh Stadium. Both the teams need an outright win in their last match to make the quarterfinals.

Bengal pacers did most of the job on a spinner-friendly surface while left-arm spinner Iresh Saxena, who remained ineffective most part of the day, managed the crucial wickets of Prashant Awasthi (73) and Mahesh Rawat (52) in the last session. But by then the two batsmen took Railways to safe shores with their 81-run stand for the fifth wicket.

Railways made a shaky start and were reduced to 73 for three after Bengal fast bowlers wrecked the top order. Ranadeb Bose struck in the very first over dismissing opener Faiz Fazal (7) caught by captain Manoj Tiwary, who took a backseat as former India captain Sourav Ganguly was seen taking all the decisions on the field.

Shreyas Khanolkar (29) and captain Sanjay Bangar (26) tried to repair the innings and when the partnership looked dangerous, medium pacer Laxmi Ratan Shukla castled Khanolkar with his in-swinging delivery to reduce the hosts to 55 for two. Ashok Dinda got one back sharply to trap Sanjay Bangar leg before.

Railways took lunch at 90 for three and shortly after the break, Shukla swung back a delivery to rattle Karan Sharma’s stumps.

The flow of runs stepped up, after Rawat walked in, and the wicketkeeper launched an attack against part-time spinner Anustp Majumdar, who was introduced after regular spinners Saxena and Sourash Lahiri failed to extract any turn from the track.

Rawat, who had played for Rajasthan Royals, took 102 balls for his 52 and hit five fours.

Awasthi, who is playing his first season, played an elegant innings on the other end using his feet well against the spinners. He reached his half-century in style with a pull off Saxena. Awasthi hit seven fours in his 137-ball stay.

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