The much-maligned Karnail Singh Stadium wicket, for good reasons though, has a proverbial silver lining. The low-and-slow wicket might have made stroke playing a painful exercise, but, redeeming itself, it has thrown up a bright possibility of an outright result.
Mumbai, in all probability, should win as Railways finished the day at 174 for 7, with a lead of mere 77 runs after erasing the first innings 97-run deficit.
While the visitors would be proud to walk away with an outright win from the track apparently tailor-made to suit the hosts’ strength, the difficult wicket also lends greater significance to Rohit’s fine century. The attacking batsmen admirably adapted to the demands of the wicket and situation, and churned out a knock that was a perfect blend of caution and aggression.
No wonder, the batsman was pleased as a punch. “It’s a very satisfying knock. It required me to change my game to suit the conditions and I am pleased I could do it,” said Rohit.
The Mumbai spinners also gave a good account of themselves on the wicket that was a far cry from an out-and-out spin friendly track. It, no doubt, offered some turn, but it was quite slow, leaving batsmen with enough time to negotiate. Yet, the spinners, Iqbal Abdulla and Harmeet Singh, proved more than handful to the experienced Railways batsmen.
For hosts, the spinners did good job, with Murali Kartik sending down massive 50 overs and picking up five wickets. They were, however, let down by their batsmen. They succumbed without a fight in the first innings, and have been just marginally better in the second. Time they get their act together.
Brief Scores: Railways 1st inn: 187 all out & 174 for 7 (F Fazal 42, S Sanyal 40, Harmeet 3/25, Abdulla 2/55); Mumbai: 1st inn: 284 all out (Rohit 101, W Jaffer 75, Kartik 5/81).