Railways save follow-on

Mumbai paceman Tushar Deshpande claimed 6/70 to hlep his team gain innings lead against Railways in Delhi on Saturday.

Mumbai had tightened their clasp on the contest, but Railways’ tail wagged on Saturday to help the home team save the follow-on on the third day of the Elite Group A Ranji Trophy match here at the Karnail Singh stadium.

Beginning the day at 115/6, Railways’ lower-order put up a strong fight to raise 192 runs. Led by overnight batsmen Arindam Ghosh, Railways’ last four batsmen forged stubborn partnerships, including 66 runs for the last wicket, to save their team the embarrassment.

Against expectations, the hosts lasted nearly two sessions in the morning, before being wrapped up for 307. They, however, conceded a first innings lead of 104. At stumps, Mumbai had posted 57/2 in their second innings with Akhil Herwadkar batting on 24 and Siddesh Lad 13, and increasing the lead to 161 runs.

After being dominated by multiple-time champions, Railways finally woke up to show some character. The overnight pair of Ghosh with Harsh Tyagi raised 58 runs for the seventh wicket, and frustrated the Mumbai attack. With the pitch easing out a bit, both Ghosh and Tyagi kept the board ticking, and denied Mumbai the advantage of early morning nip.

When left-arm spinner Karsh Kothari finally beat the bat of Ghosh with an arm ball, it appeared to be a matter of minutes before Railways caved in. But that was not to be, with Avinash Yadav joining Tyagi and chipping in with an unbeaten 38 off 45 balls which included seven fours. Anureet Singh remained unbeaten on 38 off 45 balls with seven fours.

“Avinash played a positive game and that helped us a lot,” said Tyagi.

For Mumbai, medium-pacer Tushar Deshpande put in a special effort to finish with figures of 6/70 on a benign pitch. The muscular pacer bowled a disciplined line, but by the time he got the wickets, Railways had seen through the worst.

“The pitch is low on bounce and we had decided to come in short spells. I knew I had to put in a hundred per cent show to put pressure. The aggression helped me in fine-tuning my style,” said Deshpande, who was coached by his father (Uday) before going under the wings of Omkar Salvi at Shivaji Park.

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Railways save follow-on

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