New Delhi: Railways are all but through to the knockout stage of the Ranji Trophy as they are at the verge of inflicting a humiliating innings defeat on Bengal, whom they have reduced to 105 for six at the end of third day’s play here on Friday.
It would be one of the most embarassing defeats for Bengal in the last couple of years, especially with experienced former India captain Sourav Ganguly in their ranks. Bengal have now made a habit of losing crunch games as it happened thrice in two seasons.
They lost a do-or-die game against UP last season in Ranji Trophy and have lost three consecutive Vijay Hazare Trophy finals.
Even the much-hyped return of Sourav Ganguly (7) failed to lift Bengal. The veteran batsman got dismissed in the identical fashion as in the first innings when he played on to his stumps as he found a nemesis in Anureet Singh.
With Arindam Das unlikely to bat tomorrow, Railways now just need two wickets to wrap up the proceedings.
Resuming on 250 for six, Railways, in reply to Bengal’s score of 201 in their first essay, on Friday reached 345 all out to take a massive lead.
Overnight batsmen Dhiren Salvi and JP Yadav (24) gave Railways a good start on the day with the former resuming on 35 and went on to score 81. Even Nileshkumar Chauhan (26) also contributed useful runs towards the end to give Railways an edge in the match.
Bengal, in their second essay, once again failed to apply themselves as they kept on losing wickets on regular intervals.
Skipper Manoj Tiwary (17) and Dibyendu Chakrabarty (21) got debatable decisions.
The delivery by Murali Kartik that got Manoj out seemed to have pitched well outside the leg-stump before Bengal captain was wrapped on the pads with umpire PG Pathak raising his dreaded finger.
Chakrabarty too was stunned after he was given out caught by Bangar off Kartik when it looked as if it hit him on the shoulders.