Shivam Chaudhary finished off with a six down the ground as Railways completed a resounding nine-wicket win over Jammu and Kashmir at the IIT Chemplast in Chennai on Sunday.
Despite remaining undefeated, Railways’ campaign ended with the win as Karnataka topped Group C to advance to the knockouts of a pruned Ranji Trophy season.
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The writing was on the wall when Jammu and Kashmir skipper Ian Dev Singh returned to the pavilion after the first ball of the day, trapped in front by Karn Sharma.
He paused for a moment of disbelief before plodding back, leaving his team 22 runs adrift of an innings defeat with three wickets in hand.
It was eventful morning on the final day as Railways sniffed a bonus point while Jammu and Kashmir decided to down all guns blazing. In a bout of belligerence Abid Mushtaq top edged to short fine leg after depositing Karn over midwicket for a six to hand the leg spinner his second 10-wicket haul in First Class cricket.
The hunger for the bonus point was palpable as a dropped catch at mid-off in the same over and three consecutive fours by Umar Nazir in the next left Karn fuming at his fielders. He showed the way by taking a skier at mid-off to end Auqib Nabi’s cameo before wrapping up the innings with a googly to Rohit Sharma that he inside edged to short leg.
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After setting Railways just 37 runs for the win, Jammu and Kashmir’s belated chants of “yahi time hai zor lagane ka” (this is the time to exert pressure) smacked of desperation as Railways eased to the target with five fours and two sixes, losing Vivek Singh in the process.
All-rounder Yuvraj Singh was adjudged Player of the Match for his sparkling hundred that enabled Railways to surge ahead on the third day.
In a heartening display of camaraderie both teams gathered in a circle and applauded his efforts amidst loud cheers.