Bengal bowlers reduce Railways to 214/9 at stumps on Day I

Kolkata: Medium pacer Sourav Sarkar and comeback man Shib Shankar Paul shared five wickets between them as Bengal restricted Railways to 214 for nine in the final group league encounter of the Ranji Trophy.

Seamer Sarkar grabbed three for 62 while the burly Paul playing a first-class game after nearly five years took two for 51 while pacer Veer Pratap Singh, left-arm spinner Iresh Saxena and debutant Sandipan Das got a wicket each.

For Railways, opener Amit Paunikar scored 50 while veteran India discard Murali Kartik chipped in with an useful contribution of 48 which helped the visitors cross 200-run mark at the JU (Salt Lake) ground after being put into bat.

The Railways were reduced to 125 for six at one stage before Kartik and leggie Karan Sharma (32) added 68 runs for the seenth wicket to beef up the total.

Railways started off on a promising note adding 85 runs for the opening stand before the slide started. Paunikar completed his 50 which had 10 fours but then played away from his body off a Sarkar delivery to be caught by Debabrata Das in the slips.

Then it was left-hander Shivakant Shukla who pushed at a delivery from Saxena to be caught by Das at slips without addition of another run.

Skipper Sanjay Bangar (4), Prashant Awasthi (8), Nitin Bhille (14) were out in quick succession. The dependable Mahesh Rawat (11) became Paul`s first victim and Railways were in the dumps at 125 for six. Kartik and Sharma denied any further success to Bengal bowlers holding fort for nearly 30 overs. They hit six boundaries each.

The partnership was finally broken by debutant Sandipan who got Sharma to edge one to Wriddhiman Saha behind stumps.

Sarkar and Paul then removed Kartik and Anureet respectively as play was stopped in the final over at the fall of ninth wicket.

Brief Scores: Railways 214/9 (Amit Paunikar 50, Murali Kartik 48, Karan Sharma 32, Sourav Sarkar 3/62, SS Paul 2/51) vs Bengal.


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