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Kartik saves the day for Railways
October 02, 2005 19:45 IST
Murali Kartik displayed his batting prowess as he helped Railways wriggle out of a tight spot and post a slender first innings lead over Rest of India in the Irani Trophy match in New Delhi, on Sunday.
Arriving at the crease with the Ranji Trophy champions in trouble after the top and middle order had failed, Kartik hit an unbeaten 89, his career best first-class score, to pull the hosts out of trouble.
At stumps, Railways were 235 for six, a lead of 12 runs that at one stage looked improbable after the Rest had reduced them to 106 for six soon after lunch.
Accompanying Kartik at the other end was the seasoned Yere Goud on 43 not out.
Goud's 193-ball knock from 247 minutes contained four boundaries and was in contrast to Kartik's approach.
On the other hand, left-hander Kartik struck 13 boundaries and a six during his 198-minute stay at the crease facing 135 balls.
His effortless performance also made batting look easy on a wicket of uneven bounce that had consumed the top order inside the morning session.
Mumbai off-spinner Ramesh Powar did the damage with four for 78 but left-arm orthodox R Ramkumar went wicketless with none for 29 from 16 overs.
The other impressive bowling performance of the day was that of right arm seamer S Sreesanth with two for 35.
But the Kerala pacer blotted the scoresheet himself after stepping on the danger area on his follow through three times from the same end and was ordered out of the attack for the innings.
Resuming at six for no loss, Railways failed to deliver the knockout punch on the Rest after having dismissed them for a modest 223 on the opening day.
Sreesanth gave the visitors their first breakthrough when he had Amit Pagnis (14) snick one to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel in the ninth over of the morning.
Powar then struck his first blow when he had skipper Sanjay Bangar (31) leg before while attempting a sweep.
After Jai Prakash Yadav (1) was undone by a Sreesanth delivery that kept low, the Mumbai off-spinner then picked two wickets in successive overs to leave Railways reeling at 90 for five.
Tejinder Pal Singh (19) was caught behind for Parthiv Patel's second catch of the innings while Raja Ali (8) was caught at slip while going for a cut.
When Vineet Saxena (9) was out in similar fashion the death knell was sounded for the hosts.
But Kartik, ever the rebel, had other ideas as he rescued his team in company of Goud.
Rest of India 1st innings: 223 all out
Railways 1st innings:
Extras (b-5, lb-14, nb-11, w-1) 1
Total (for six wickets in 96 overs) 235
Fall of wickets: 1-30, 2-60, 3-61, 4-84, 5-90, 6-104.
Bowling: Rudra Pratap Singh 16-5-42-0, Ranadeb Bose 16.4-9-30-0, Ramesh Powar 28-4-78-4, S Sreesanth 15.2-5-35-2, R Ramkumar 16-7-29-0, Y Venugopala Rao 4-0-12-0.