Ranji Trophy: Karn Sharma’s ton helps Railways take 152-run lead
Railways skipper Karn Sharma led from the front, as he hit a gritty century and helped his team take a massive 152-run first innings lead against Mumbai on the second day of their Elite Group B Ranji Trophy game on Thursday.
In their second essay, Mumbai were struggling at 64/3, as the 41-time domestic champions, are still trailing by 88 runs.
It was due to Sharma’s heroics with the bat (112 not out) and a valiant 72-run knock by Arindam Ghosh, that the Railways were able to go past the 250-run mark, after they were teetering at 43/5 at one stage.
Courtesy pacer T Pradeep’s six-wicket haul on Wednesday, the Railways had bundled out Mumbai for paltry 114 in their first innings.
As announced on Wednesday, the play began at around 11.30 pm and the Railways resumed their innings on 116/5, when they were two runs ahead of Mumbai.
Left-handed Sharma and Ghosh played cautiously and kept frustrating the Mumbai bowlers, as they stitched a 116- run stand for the sixth wicket.
Sharma, in his unbeaten knock, hammered 15 fours and four sixes, while Ghosh hit 12 boundaries.
Their stand not only pulled the Railways out of trouble, but also put them in a good position.
Medium pacer Akash Parkar broke the stand, after he cleaned up Ghosh.
However, Sharma found an able partner in Avinash Yadav (34 off 53 balls; 4x4) as the duo added 85 runs for the seventh wicket.
Yadav played the perfect second fiddle to Sharma, who played one of the best knocks of his career.
Their stand meant that the Railways piled agony on Mumbai, otherwise known to be strong side at their home turf.
After Yadav was dismissed in the 69th over, Sharma was devoid of partners and eventually the Railways innings folded up on 266.
Mumbai pacer Tushar Deshpande (4-44) ran through the Railways lower order.
In Mumbai’s second innings, young prodigy Prithvi Shaw, who had failed in the first innings, again was unable to convert his start.
He fell on 23 after slamming four boundaries.
His opening partner Jay Bista too fell on 13 as Mumbai were in a spot of bother at 37-2 and it soon became 45-3 after crisis man Siddesh Lad fell cheaply for 8.
After that test specialist Ajinkya Rahane (3 batting) alongside skipper Suryakumar Yadav (15 batting) held the fort and ensured that there was no further damage.
They will need to bat as long as possible on the third day.
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