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Railways vs Uttar Pradesh

Visitors fail to twist the knife after taking first-innings lead, reports Heena Zuni Pandit

india Updated: Dec 22, 2008 20:18 IST
Heena Zuni Pandit

Railways bank on home as UP stars come back

Preview-

This is a tough one. Both Railways and Uttar Pradesh will take this match as an opportunity to cement a place in the next round when they meet for their Super League Group B Ranji Trophy match at the Karnail Singh Stadium on Saturday.

After recording their first wins of the current season, both Railways and Uttar Pradesh are confident. The hosts had to raise their performance by several notches to beat Andhra in their last match to move to the fourth spot (with nine points) in the table.

Uttar Pradesh are placed third with 11 points. Not only did they thrash Madhya Pradesh in Kanpur, the visitors also have reason to smile as four of their star players return to bolster the batting and bowling. With the final two matches of the England-India one-day series being called off, Suresh Raina and Rudra Pratap Singh are back for this match while Praveen Kumar, who was forced to sit out due to a knee injury, and skipper Md. Kaif, who was ill, also make a return.

Though Railways have the advantage of playing at home, youngsters like all-rounder Karan Sharma and medium pacer K. Anureet Singh have to take the responsibility of ensuring that their side wrests the advantage early on.

Railways will be going into this crucial encounter with an unchanged squad.

Prabhakar checks in

Even as the UP players trained at the Karnail Singh Stadium, there was a surprise guest in Manoj Prabhakar. The former India pacer was seen giving tips and sharing his knowledge with the likes of RP Singh and Praveen.

Teams (from)

Uttar Pradesh

M Kaif (captain), S Raina, Tanmay Srivastava, Shivakant Shukla, Bhuwaneshwar Kumar, Mohd Amir Khan, Ravikant Shukla, Parvinder Singh, P Gupta, P Chawla, RP Singh, Praveen Kumar, Imtiaz Ahmed, Sudeep Tyagi, Ashish Yadav.

Railways

S Bangar (captain), M Tamhane, Karan Sharma, Harshad Rawle, Sanjay Sanyal, Yere Goud, Mahesh Rawat, Raja Ali, M Kartik, Kulmani Parida, Anuridh Singh, D Yadav.

Day One-

Raina, Praveen keep UP afloat

Stars shine, wickets fallen and runs scored. That’s what the first day of the Uttar Pradesh vs Railway match was about where the visitors managed 275 for eight against Railways in their Ranji Trophy Super League Group B match at the Karnail Singh Stadium on Saturday.

Choosing to bat, UP lost opener Tanmay Srivastava (8) in the seventh over but Suresh Raina who returned to bolster the team, scored 66 with the help of nine boundaries.

Railway bowlers Anureet Singh and Karan Sharma kept the visitors on the back foot till the 27th over. Then came a 76-run partnership for the second wicket between Raina and Shivakant Shukla (19) and was followed by Piyush Chawla’s 47.

Chawla looked set for a half-century, being particularly harsh on Murali Kartik, dispatching the left-arm spinner for a straight drive and a huge six.

The Railway bowlers were in for some more punishment as the No 8 bat Praveen Kumar scored 51 off 56 balls with the help of six boundaries and a six.

Despite losing Bhuvneshwar Kumar (28) and R. P. Singh (18) at the other end, both falling to Kartik, Praveen continued to bat freely and helped UP past the 250-mark.

For Railways, Anureet (3 for 60) and Karan Sharma (3 for 59) were among the wickets. Had it not been for a few dubious decisions, UP could have crossed the 300-mark.

Brief scores: Uttar Pradesh 1st inn 275 for 8 (S Raina 66, P Chawla 47, Praveen batting 51; A Singh 3-60, K Sharma 3-59, Kartik 2-57)vs Railways.

Day Two-

RP’s day out

Uttar Pradesh seamer Rudra Pratap Singh make his presence felt in the Ranji Trophy by rocking Railways in the Super League Group B match at the Karnail Singh Stadium on Sunday.

RP greeted Railway openers Milind Tamhane and Sanjay Bangar with some hostile stuff. After a vociferous appeal against Tamhane was turned down off the opening delivery, the India seamer had Bangar (0) caught behind two deliveries later. There was no respite as Harshad Rawle (0) was cleaned up off the penultimate delivery of the over. In the sixth over, Tamhane (2) was removed by Bhuwaneshwar Kumar to leave Railway reeling at 10 for three while chasing 346.

RP returned to haunt the hosts when he removed Sanjib Saniyal (4).

Karan Sharma stemmed the slide for a while but despite being in good touch, the all-rounder fell on 23, caught behind by wicketkeeper Amir Khan off Piyush Chawla.

It was an unbeaten 78-run partnership for the sixth wicket between Yere Goud (50 not out) and Mahesh Rawat (28 not out) that ensured Railways did not suffer any further before bad light stopped play.

Earlier, continuing from their overnight score of 275 for eight on day one, Praveen Kumar (98) and Amir Khan (24 not out) helped UP to put a target of 347 runs for the host. Kumar was well supported by Amir Khan —who is also his room-mate ever since they had started playing together — to score 98.

Brief Scores: UP (overnight 275) 346 (Praveen 98, Raina 66; Anureet 3-86, Karan 3-73, Kartik 3-60) vs Railways 118-5 (Gaud batting 50, Rawat batting 28; RP Singh 3-65).

Day Three-

Chawla’s fiver restricts Railways

Some luck, some effort but Piyush Pramod Chawla has every reason to remember this day. The legspinner took five wickets and helped UP restrict Railways to 200, earning the visitors a 146-run first-innings lead at the Karnail Singh Stadium.

Chawla's 10th first-class five-for could not have come at a better time — UP need all the points from this match to make sure a place in the next stage of the domestic competition. Resuming on an overnight 118-5 Railways first lost Mahesh Rawat (39) to Bhuwaneshwara Kumar after that Chawla — who was also the most economical bowler in the innings — took the rest five wickets, conceding 33 runs in the 20.5 overs he bowled. The most eventful wicket was that of Murali Kartik (12) who presented Mohd Kaif at first slip with a catch off a quick Chawla googly.

It was only Yere Goud in the course of his unbeaten 78 who ensured that Railways reached 200. In response UP reached 118 for 4 at stumps. Opener Tanmay Srivastava was batting on 51 while wickets fell at regular intervals at the other end.

Brief scores: UP 1st inn 346 & 118 for 4 (Tanmay batting 51; Anureet 2-34, Parida 2-7) vs Railways 200 (Gaud 78*, Rawat 39; Chawla 5-33, RP Singh 3-81).

Day Four-

UP down to the points

YOU TRY so hard and yet it doesn't matter in the end. Uttar Pradesh did everything but yet had to be content with just three points when they could have taken five in their Super League Group B Ranji Trophy match against Railways that ended in a draw, at the Karnail Singh Stadium on Tuesday.

Resuming on their overnight score of 119 for four, UP declare their second inning on 150-6. Tanmay Srivastava scored 62 with the help of eight boundaries before Railways captain Sanjay Bangar took a superb return catch.

Bangar then held firm at the crease. Right from the time he came to open the inning in the morning, he never played a loose shot. In his inning of 70 runs, he hit just nine boundaries.

On the other end, wickets kept falling. But, Bangar stood rock solid and shared 112-run ninth-wicket partnership with wicket-keeper Mahesh Rawat, which finally denied UP an outright win. Rawat, who was down with high fever and hence came to bat at No. 9, scored a quick 80 studded with 14 boundaries.

Railways were dealt a severe blow when Rawat gave a catch to Suresh Raina off R.P. Singh at short covers while going for a drive. In came the 10th man — Railways' 'new ball' kid Anureet Singh. He played an inning that saved the match for the host. He survived 40 balls before curtains came down on the match. .

The visitors' last chance to turn the tables came when they took the second new ball in the 81st over (when Railways were 197 for 8). Bangar still kept his cool and kept defending his wicket with a straight bat.

The hosts were in dire straits at 33 for 6 at the end of the 19th over. It was Murali Kartik who showed some resistance, scoring 30 runs, but once again gave an easy catch to Bhuwaneshwara at mid-on off Piyush Chawla. Railways now have 10 points from four outings and they have two more matches to go. "We want eight points (an outright win and three more points) in order to qualify," said Bangar. Meanwhile, UP have one more game (against Karnataka) and 14 points under their belt.

Brief Scores: UP 346 & 150 for 6 decl. (T Srivastava 62; Karan 2-27, Parida 2-7) drew with Railways 200 & 215 for 8 (Rawat 80, Bangar 70*; Bhuwaneshwara 5-35, RP Singh 2-77).

One Fine day!

The four-day Railways-UP Ranji match saw some unsavoury incidents that left two players – Murali Kartik (Rlys) and R.P. Singh (UP) — in the dock. Match referee K. Pradeep docked both players 50 per cent of their fees for showing dissent on the field. Since Kartik was earlier docked 100 per cent of his fees in February this year, he was charged with a level 2.1 offence. Singh was charged with a level 1.2 offence. Kartik was fined as he refused to walk after getting out to Piyush Chawla in the first inning. RP was fined for showing disrespect to a rival team batsman.