Even as Railways were trying hard for that all-important first-innings lead here, their one-time star player, JP Yadav was cooling his heels miles away from the venue. The allrounder, who had played a stellar role for his side before migrating to the Indian Cricket League, couldn't find a spot in the days' squad after his return to the BCCI fold.
He was part of Railways' squad for the domestic T20s and attended the selection trials in Delhi.
"I was in Delhi (for the Ranji trials) and thought I would be selected in the squad for sure," JP Yadav said. He, however, wasn't.
What makes his case intriguing is the fact that he had refused an offer from another state. "Manoj Prabhakar, who was the then coach of Rajasthan, asked me to play as a professional for the state. Had I known, I wouldn't get to play, I could've even tried playing for my home state, MP," he said.
When asked about JP's exclusion, Abhay Sharma, the coach of the Railways, had said before the season opener, "He hadn't played days' games for a long time (because of the ICL), and hadn't done anything extraordinary in the Twenty20s."
Yadav reasoned, "Firstly, I batted very low down the order in the T20s and if you concede anything between 6-7 in an over during T20s, which I did, it isn't expensive."
Interestingly, T.P Singh, who had also migrated to the ICL was given a chance and although he failed in the first essay got a 63 not out in the second innings.
TN take lead
Tamil Nadu managed to take the lead without losing any further wicket. They managed a 10-run lead in the end. Murali Kartik bowled a marathon 52 overs and came out the most successful bowler with 4/100. Railways’ made 178 for 2 in the second innings with Cheluvaraj (61*) and TP coming good.
Railways 1st innings 327
TN 1st innings (o/n 137 for 8): Ganapathy b Kartik 32, Jesuraj c Rawat b Gehlot 8, Srinivas not out 1; n Extras (b-2, lb-3, nb-3) 8; n Total (all out) 337
FoW: 1-0, 2-83, 3-150, 4-169, 5-221, 6-274, 7-296, 8-312, 9-335
Bowling: Gehlot 27.3-6-70-3, Bangar 33-12-62-1, M Suresh 14-2-58-0, Sanyal 19-4-32-1, Kartik 52-18-100-4, Parida 6-2-10-0.
Railways 2nd innings: Fazal b Balaji 9, Cheluvaraj not out 61, Bangar run out 39, TP Singh not out 63; n Extras (b-2, lb-1, nb-3) 6; n Total (for 2 wkts) 178
FoW: 1-19, 2-87
Bowling: Balaji 7-4-4-1, Ganapathy 2-1-7-0, Jesuraj 4-1-12-0, Mukund 6-1-18-0, Ashwin 16-4-21-0, S Kumar 11-2-50-0, Vijay 9-3-31-0, D Karthik 4-0-32-0.