Yuvraj Singh struck a maiden First Class hundred to hand Railways a 167-run first innings lead against Jammu and Kashmir on the third day of the Ranji Trophy Group C match at IIT Chemplast in Chennai on Saturday.  

In reply, Jammu and Kashmir found itself stuttering at 145 for six at stumps.  

Building on the overnight score of 297 for eight, Yuvraj and Akash Pandey ground the Jammu and Kashmir attack down with a formidable 132-run alliance for the ninth wicket as Railways ended with 426 on the board.  

A 14-run Umar Nazir over early in the morning already had the fielders holding their hands over their heads. Lanky right-handed batter Yuvraj piled more agony upon the Jammu and Kashmir bowlers, using his range to get to the pitch of the ball and launching the spinners for boundaries while timing the ball sweetly for sumptuous drives when the pacers overpitched. Pandey was more deft, dabbing off the backfoot behind square. 

The rearguard was fluent rather than gritty with the duo resisting desperate heaves and preferring to punish the fuller lengths and wayward lines. Pandey eventually nudged one to short leg to provide the Jammu and Kashmir camp some relief. Meanwhile, Yuvraj moved into the nineties with two sixes off Parvez Rasool before a crisp straight drive took him to the three-digit mark amidst the chants of “Come on Yuvi”. 

READ: Ranji Trophy: Karnataka well on top vs Puducherry despite Rohit's defiant 100

The bowlers never got him and eventually he had to be run out for the innings to end. Abdul Samad’s dropped chance off his own bowling was the closest they came to getting the better of the centurion who came in to bat yesterday at number eight.  

Jammu and Kashmir's second innings showed promise but then faltered. Opener Qamran Iqbal edged a drive off Rahul Sharma to a diving Arindam Ghosh at second slip while Suryansh Raina survived four reprieves in the cordon en route to his 84-ball 39. Just as he seemed to hit his strides after stepping down and smashing Karn Sharma for a six over midwicket, fate caught up with him.  

Dancing down again to Karn in the same over, he flicked onto the pads of short leg as the ball looped up and into the ‘keeper’s gloves. Henan Nazir also fell to aggression, handing a skier at mid off while attempting to clear long off.  

After Jammu and Kashmir skipper Ian Dev Singh and Abdul Samad resisted with a 43-run partnership, off-spinner Shivam Chaudhary struck late in the day. He breeched Samad’s defences to end his uncharacteristic 37-ball 29 before drawing Parvez Rasool’s outside edge to Pratham Singh in the slips next ball. Samad was beginning to adapt to a packed leg side field and had fetched two boundaries off the backfoot on the off side before his stumps were knocked over. 

Singh and Auqib Nabi averted further setbacks, playing out five overs for just five runs to take the game into the fourth and final day with Railways chugging ahead.