Ranji Trophy: TN beats Railways by 174 runs

Off-spinner Malolan Rangarajan took four wickets as Tamil Nadu defeated Railways by 174 runs in Bilaspur. Saurabh Wakaskar provided resistance for Railways with a century but it was not adequate as it was bowled out for 226.

Malolan Rangarajan precipitated Railways' collapse with four for 37 in 13.2 overs.   -  K. Pichumani

Off-spinner Malolan Rangarajan took four wickets as Tamil Nadu bowled Railways out for 226 on the fourth day to register a 174-run victory at the Lohnu ground here.

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It was a commendable comeback for the team after it had been bundled out for 121 in the first innings and had conceded a 52-run first innings lead to the Railways.

While Rangarajan speeded up the finish, it was J. Kousik who began the rout. He sent the stumps flying in the morning for two early wickets that forced the Railways to apply the brakes after it had smashed 118 runs without losing a wicket overnight.

Tamil Nadu was reluctant to attack early and that resulted in catches flying into the empty slip region. Opener Saurabh Wataskar stood out with a fine knock of 120 before he was bowled by Rangarajan. Railways only added four more runs after the wicket fell. In fact, the last seven wickets fell for 33 runs.

Tamil Nadu coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar was happy with the manner in which his team mounted a challenge after a disappointing start.

“We have to focus on what we can do and do our best, both individually and collectively as a team. More than the win, I am happy with the way the team played,” said Kanitkar. After losing to Mumbai by two wickets in the first match in Rohtak in a thriller, the win here was morale boosting for the side.

Dinesh Karthik was adjudged the Man of the Match for his superlative innings of 163 in the second innings which decisively turned the match in Tamil Nadu’s favour, after captain Abhinav Mukund had laid the foundation with a century.

Tamil Nadu collected six points from the match for the outright win.