Ghaziabad: Railways team recorded one of their best victories in recent years when they thrashed a formidable Uttar Pradesh by an innings and 94 runs in an Elite Group A Ranji Trophy match at the Mohan Meakin ground on Thursday.
Asked to follow-on, UP managed a paltry 201 in their second innings. Pacers Krishna Kant Upadhyay (2/42) and Sanjay Bangar (2/39) cleaned up the top-order to set up the victory.
Once UP`s main batsman Mohammed Kaif (36) was removed by Upadhyay with a lovely outswinger as the former India player`s drive went to second slip at 93 for three, it was just a matter of time.
The writing was there on the wall and and veteran India Murali Kartik (5/27) polished the lower-order to ensure that Railways don`t have to come out to field on the final day.
There wasn`t much pressure when Kartik came on to bowl as he even tried a few chinaman stuff drifting away from his classical orthodox style.
After the first two rounds, Railways were facing the ignominy of relegation having lost by 10 wickets against Mumbai and innings defeat against Karnataka. Now with 10 points from five rounds, the railwaymen are eyeing a spot in the knock-out rounds.
For the UP team, it was complacency that became a big factor. They took the Railways team way too lightly and thus were blown away by their opposition who displayed a much more disciplined effort.
It will be an uphill task now for the UP team as they face the mighty Mumbai and heavyweights Karnataka in their last two matches.
Brief Scores: Railways 374.
Uttar Pradesh 79 & 201 (Prashant Gupta 41, Mohd Kaif 36, M Kartik 5/27). Railways won by an innings & 94 runs.
Points: Railways 6 UP 0.