On a day when both teams refused to give an inch, Railways eventually edged out Jammu and Kashmir and took a 38-run first innings lead in the Ranji Trophy Group C match at the IIT Chemplast Ground in Chennai on Friday.
Railways did well to shake off a frustrating start to finish the second day at 297 for 8.
After opener Vivek Singh trudged to the pavilion for 17 while staring at the umpire in disbelief for a caught behind decision, his partner Pratham Singh took on the mantle announcing his presence with an authoritative swivel and pull in the eighth over.
He played foil to Shivam Chaudhary’s breezy 67-ball 47, who heaved Parvez Rasool for a boundary at long on for his first runs. The duo put on a 104-run second wicket stand before Pratham top-edged to the ‘keeper trying to sweep Abid Mushtaq shortly before lunch.
The alliance was aided by a couple of dropped chances in the slips as the Jammu and Kashmir cordon failed to replicate the sharp slip catching of the morning practice session. Railways had knocked off 142 runs before finally one stuck as Abdul Samad hung on at first slip to dismiss Chaudhary.
Left-arm spinner Mushtaq was the silver lining of all the toil in the field with his fifer. He got veteran Arindam Ghosh to top edge one before deceiving Upendra Yadav with extra bounce to clinch his third five-wicket haul in First Class cricket. Auqib Nabi was the lone success amongst the pacers. He drew a composed Mohammad Saif into a miscued pull with a short one just as the pacers were brought back after a marathon spell by Mushtaq and Rasool.
However, Yadav and Karn Sharma snuffed out any glimmer of hope with a solid partnership of 46 runs for the sixth wicket, riding out an inspired barrage of pace bowling before tea. The final session saw the batters milk the spinners for the lead as the day petered out amidst the applause from the Railways dugout.
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