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Railways vs MP: Railways play for pride and how!

It seems the Railways are here to recover lost glory. After an abysmal showing in the longer version, the Railways look almost unstoppable in the instant form.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2006 01:34 IST

It seems the Railways are here to recover lost glory. After an abysmal showing in the longer version, the Railways look almost unstoppable in the instant form. On Tuesday, they made mincemeat of a disappointing Madhya Pradesh side and easily coasted to victory by seven wickets, while plucking a bonus point on the way.

Even before the match had begun, there was talk of Railways going through to the knockout stage as the best side from this zone simply because of the options they have.

However, there was some doubt as MP had shown some substance throughout this season. Yet, their problem of choking in the big game continued and the top-order batsmen faltered, showing little credibility and almost no patience against a new and moving ball. The Malwa boys were shot out for a paltry 124. Thereafter, it was a no-match as the initial movement was lost and batting became an easy task.

Incidentally, it was the same track where Railways and Vidarbha had played their first game -- a high-scoring encounter. So one has to blame the MP batsmen for the lack of application. Amay Khurasia was the first to go, trying to pull one and instead mistiming it to square-leg to give JP Yadav his first wicket. Newcomer Amit Paul followed Amay, misreading the line and getting caught behind by Harvinder.

Of course, credit must be given to Railways for their planning as was evident from the way they trapped Syed Abbas Ali.

They removed the fielder at covers and prompted Abbas to go for the drive. Abbas went for it, but the ball moved in and disturbed the furniture. Naman Ojha tried to drive a good length delivery and was held at slip. From thereon, it was an uphill task for MP, and some hara-kiri that resulted in Bundela's run-out, put paid to their hopes. JP (2 for 11 off 10) gave little away and Harvinder (3 for 36 off 10) made the ball talk while the rest chipped in.

In reply, there were only a few moments when MP might have smelt something their way. After Amit Pagnis fell to a slash early, caught at point, there was a chance when the total was on 24. Instead, the fielder, Jalajh Saxena, spilled an easy catch at covers that could have sent back TP Singh who made 47 off 45 balls.

Similarly, with the total on 41, Shantanu Pitre failed to hold on to a simple chance gifted by Shankara Rao at deep fine leg. That over opened the floodgates. After the first ball escape, both Shankara and TP plundered 15 runs from that Sanjay Pandey over. And by the time Shankara and TP fell, the match was sealed.

Scoreboard

Madhya Pradesh

Khurasia c Rao b Yadav2

Ojha c Yadav b Harvinder8

Paul c Deb b Harvinder5

Abbas b Harvinder0

Bundela run out 8

Tomar run out 39

Bakshi st Deb b Madan13

Saxena c&b Bangar18

Pitre c Deb b Madan6

Pandey c Bangar b Yadav0

Golwalkar not out 6

Extras: (lb-5, nb-6, w-8) 19

Total: (in 46.4 ovrs) 124

Fall of wkts: 1-2, 2-11, 3-11, 4-22, 5-46, 6-83, 7-102, 8-112, 9-113.

Bowling: Yadav 10-4-11-2, Harvinder 10-0-36-3, Sahu 10-0-26-0, Bangar 8.4-1-20-1, Madan 7-124-2, Rao 1-0-2-0.

Railways

Rao b Saxena43

Pagnis c Bakshi b Pitre14

TP c&b Saxena47

Yadav not out 10

Bangar not out 0

Extras: (lb-3, nb-3, w-5) 11

Total: (for 3 wkts) 125

Fall of wkts: 1-16, 2-113, 3-113.

Bowling: Pandey 4-034-0, Pitre 7-0-42-1, Bundela 2-016-0, Saxena 4-1-11-2, Golwalkar 2.2-0-19-0.

First Published: Feb 15, 2006 01:34 IST