Ranji Trophy: Railways test for floundering Puducherry

After a defeat against J&K, Puducherry will aim for a better performance in the second round of the Ranji Trophy, against Railways.

Published : Feb 23, 2022 14:18 IST

Railways batter Arindam Ghosh scored a century in the first round and will be keen for an encore.
Railways batter Arindam Ghosh scored a century in the first round and will be keen for an encore.

Railways batter Arindam Ghosh scored a century in the first round and will be keen for an encore.

Stung by an eight-wicket defeat in its Ranji Trophy Elite division debut, Puducherry will aim for a better performance against Railways in a Group C match that begins on Thursday at the IC Guru Nanak College ground in Chennai.

Puducherry began on a positive note against Jammu & Kashmir in the red-ball opener last week: riding on veteran Paras Dogra’s 29th first-class ton, Puducherry posted 343 in its first-innings. The opposition overhauled the total to grab an 83-run lead, however, before bowling Puducherry out for 124 in the second innings, thanks in main to off-spinner Parvez Rasool who took six for 29. J&K got to its target of 42 with ease to pick up six points.

High on confidence

While only a point separates Puducherry and Railways, Karn Sharma’s men will enter the contest exuding confidence after snatching three points from Karnataka in round one.

ALSO READ - Team balance has given J&K new identity - coach Sanjeev Sharma

Heavyweight Karnataka endured dogged resistance from the Railways after posting a hefty first-innings total of 481. Railways responded with fifties from openers Mrunal Devdhar and Vivek Singh, followed by stoic knocks from Arindam Ghosh (105) and Mohammed Saif (86) in the middle-order. They narrowed Karnataka’s lead to a mere 55 runs, forcing it to a scramble for runs in the second innings, late on days three and four. Railways held ground for a draw on the final day after refusing to be bowled out in an unlikely 279-chase in 33 overs.

On a surface that is conducive for batters, Railways will expect to come good once again, while attention will also be on all-rounder Yuvraj Singh after his fruitful debut against Karnataka - he picked up a five-for (5 for 93) in his first outing while adding a valuable 48 with the bat.

Puducherry will also hope its young openers Neyan Kangayan, Arvind Kothandapani and No. 3 Pavan Desphande rally around the ever-consistent Dogra as the group laggard vyes for better fortunes in the second round.

In another Group C clash, Jammu & Kashmir will face Karnataka in a battle for the top spot at the IIT-Chemplast ground.

Group C standings

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