Rahul derails Railways after a good start | india | Hindustan Times
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Rahul derails Railways after a good start

Rahul Sharma spun the ball with vengeance to take five wickets on the first day of the Ranji Trophy Elite Group A match, against Railways on Tuesday.

india Updated: Dec 15, 2009 22:56 IST
Shubhodeep Chakravarty

Rahul Sharma spun the ball with vengeance to take five wickets on the first day of the Ranji Trophy Elite Group A match, against Railways on Tuesday. The leg-spinner brought Punjab back into the game after openers Faiz Faisal and V. Cheluvaraj had given the hosts a good start.

Sharma bowled an off-stump line with precision, creating doubts in the batsmen’s mind. Faisal was the only Railways player who was able to negotiate the low bounce as Punjab persisted with spin for most part of the day.

His knock of 87 included 13 boundaries but a single mistake saw him lob a catch back to Sharma and his team frittered away a good start to reach 191 for six at stumps. Railways brought up their hundred in 18 overs but with Faisal’s dismissal, the scoring slowed (not needed)down to a trickle. The next seven overs saw only five runs being added to the total as leg-spinners Sharma and Sarabjeet Ladda took full advantage of the wicket. Sanjay Bangar looked to continue with his form of the previous match but he mistimed a Sharma delivery to end his brief stay at the crease. The rest of the batting line-up did not put up much in terms of resistance as Railways slipped to 140 for five from 102 for no loss.

Coach Abhay Sharma was disappointed with his team’s performance. “The wicket was slow and there was hardly any bounce in it. But we should have capitalised on the good start,” said the Railways coach.

The day began on a dull note. Heavy rain stopped the match after only three overs. Play resumed after close to three hours of delay. Overcast conditions are likely to prevail in the coming days which might continue to help bowlers.