“Enough,” mumbled a senior lensman, taking his eye off the lens. He pushed his camera aside, and lay down flat on the ground with his eyes firmly shut. He was, however, not the only one feeling drowsy; almost everyone in the
stadium was fighting hard to stay awake.
The blame for this overwhelming sense of boredom and lethargy lay fairly and squarely on the Railways. On a low and slow track of the Karnail Singh Stadium, Railways chugged at their slowest to reach a total of mere 187 runs, using up mammoth 85 overs, before they were bowled out.
Electing to bat, Railways batsmen showed an inexplicable defensive approach. Yes, it wasn’t easy to play strokes, but the batsmen made it look much worse than it actually was. Railways opener V. Chelevraj played 112 balls to get just 14 runs — quite bizarre, on a wicket that was neither seaming nor turning square. That was the approach more or less every batsman
adopted, making the proceedings completely tedious.
Worse, not only the batsmen failed to score runs at a reasonable pace, but also couldn’t stay put on the wicket. Every batsman got a start, but failed to convert it into a meaningful contribution. Quite a few batsmen just threw away their wickets, making things even worse.
Mumbai would be supremely happy with their effort, especially two young left-arm spinners, Iqbal Abdulla and Harmeet Singh, who picked up five wickets between them.
Sensing the overtly defensive mood of the Railways, the seamers bowled wicket to wicket, not allowing easy runs. And once the left arm spinners took over, it wasn’t long before the hosts were completely derailed.
Mumbai, in reply, lost Rahane with just two runs on the board.