Ranji Trophy: Railways in quarters with innings win over Bengal

Saturday, December 18, 2010

NEW DELHI - Bengal suffered a humiliating innings and 10-run defeat against the Railways, who qualified for the quarterfinals of the Ranji Trophy Super League here Saturday.

It was a great turnaround for the Railways, who were lying sixth in the eight-team Group, but won two back-to-back matches to make the quarterfinals.

They defeated Delhi last week for their first victory of the season and the victory against Bengal the Karnail Singh Stadium fetched them six points, including a bonus that took their tally to 17 from seven matches.

Railways captain Sanjay Bangar said the win against Delhi changed their fortunes.

“we played on a result-oriented track against Delhi at the Roshanara Club and that win gave us the confidence. After we bowled out Bengal for 201 in the first innings, we knew that it would be an uphill task for them. We had to apply ourselves on this track and our batsmen did just that,” said Bangar.

Not even the presence of former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who was playing in the Ranji Trophy after a year, could inspire the Bengal team.

Bengal batsmen failed to apply themselves on the tricky track and were bowled out for 134 in the second innings after making 201 in the first innings. Railways made 345 in their first innings.

Resuming at overnight 105 for six, Bengal’s second innings wrapped up in just 30 minutes on the fourth morning after all-rounder Jai Prakash Yadav picked up the last three wickets to end with figures of five for 20 for a match haul of seven for 61. Bengal opener Arindam Das could not bat because of an injury.

Overnight batsman Laxmi Ratan Shukla remained unbeaten on 58 and was the only batsman who did the scoring on the final day at as Ranadeb Bose, Ashok Dinda and Iresh Saxena were dismissed in similar fashion, caught behind by Mahesh Rawat off Yadav’s deadly spell.

Bengal came into the match with a strong chance of making the quarterfinals, but it turned out to be an embarassing outing for the visitors with Ganguly putting up a dismal performance. His feet hardly moved and in both the innings he fell to the military pace of Anureet Singh, who played the second season of Indian Premier League (IPL) for Knight Riders, after scoring 13 and seven.

Ganguly, who was playing his first first-class match in 12 months, admitted that he was rusty, but Bengal paid the big price of changing their team combination ahead of the crucial match.

Ganguly came in the side replacing Writam Porel, who had scored decently with 107 runs from three matches at an average of 35.66 that also included a 71 against defending champions Mumbai.

The only thing that I can control is my performance. I was a bit rusty during this particular match against Railways,” Ganguly said.

“I will be playing in the National Twenty20 and National One-dayers. The more I play, the better I will be prepared for Indian Premier League, he added.

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