November 6, 2011 12:35:18 am
Apart from the kitbags littered all over the floor,a white board is the other constant sight in the Railways dressing room. The board contains both sessions and daily targets to be achieved by Karnail Singh Stadiums home players. For the last eight sessions,though,and against the 39-time champions Mumbai,the Railwaymen have struggled to achieve any of their goals. However,they came close to pulling off the written words Fight it out in the ninth session of the game and the final one of Day Three.
After being enforced follow-on,Railways openers Shreyas Khanolkar and Shivkant Shukla took to the crease for the second time in the match. While they negotiated the new ball well for the entiretly of the post-tea essay,Mumbais part timers Kaustubh Pawar and Suryakumar Yadav crashed their party. Khanolkar was pouched in the slips by Mumbai skipper Wasim Jaffer off Pawar,and right at the very end of the day with just two balls to go,Yadav got a debatable decision in his favour to get a caught behind appeal against Faiz Fazal,who was well set on 34.
At the stumps,Railways were 121/2,still 106 adrift of Mumbais first innings total of 483,with Shukla steady on an unbeaten 64,while nightwatchman Anureet Singh was yet to open his account. They didnt miss the mark as badly as they did on the first day,when Anureet had set a target of giving away 55 runs and dismissing a couple of wickets in the post lunch session for the team but the counter-attacking duo of Rohit Sharma and Yadav ruined those plans with a 180-run partnership. On Saturday,they were a lot closer to their target than they had been all through the match.
Earlier in the day,the hosts were dismissed for a total of 256. Only captain Sanjay Bangar and Murali Kartik put up some fight to get closer to the follow-on mark. Overnight batsman and debutant Nitin Bille was the first man to be dismissed,caught in front to the left-arm orthodox spin of Ankeet Chavan. In his next over,Chavan had Mahesh Rawat stumped for nought. Dhiren Salvi,JP Yadav and Anureet,all failed to hold their ends.
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It was only after Kartik came to the crease that the scoring rate picked,as the two seasoned heads changed gears to avoid the horrid follow-on. Bangar made 89,including 11 fours and three sixes,but was the third of Chavans victim. Kartik was the last man to be dismissed in the innings as he was run out. He made a 42-ball 48.
Brief scores: Mumbai first innings 483 vs Railways first innings 256 in 78.3 overs (S Bangar 89,M Kartik 48; A Chavan 3/34,R Powar 3/76) & following on 121/2 in 35.3 overs (S Shukla batting 64; K Pawar 1/4,S Yadav 1/0)
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