Ranji Trophy: Saurashtra coach blasts Karnail pitch after 18 wkts fall on Day I

Updated: Dec 21, 2011, 20:57 PM IST

New Delhi: Saurashtra coach Debu Mitra on Wednesday blasted the Railways team management for preparing a track which he feels is not conducive for a first-class match after 18 wickets fell on the first day of the Ranji Trophy match at the Karnail Singh Stadium.

Needing an outright win to qualify, the home team`s ploy of preparing a track, where the ball would jump and turn, backfired completely.

After Saurashtra were bowled out cheaply for 171, one couldn`t have imagined that Railways will be reeling at 71 for eight by stumps on first day.

With Railways already trailing by 104 runs with two wickets remaining, there are doubts whether the match would continue after first session on third day.

"I have never seen such a strip in my 45 year career as cricketer and then as a coach. What`s the point in having a first-class match on such a wicket? Actually, they didn`t even bothered to work on the strip and left it as it is after their last game," a furious Mitra, better known as Sourav Ganguly`s childhood coach, told reporters after the end of day`s play.

Asked whether Saurashtra Cricket Association will file a complaint with the BCCI about the strip, Mitra replied, "SCA is waiting for my report and accordingly they would decide their course of action. But didn`t the home team think even once that how can there be good cricket in the fourth innings on such a strip."

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who took six for 22 in only 8.5 overs, was unplayable as some of his deliveries turned square and also took off awkwardly having batsmen like Sanjay Bangar, Nitin Bhille, M Suresh in a fix. He was complemented well by offie Kamlesh Makvana, who has taken two for 32.

Only Mahesh Rawat (31 batting, 30 balls, 4x4, 1x6) showed some positive intent as he tried to use his feet in order to negate the turn.

In the morning, it was another left-arm spinner Ashish Yadav (4/35) who turned out to be the most successful among home team bowlers.

Bangar surprised one and all by opening the bowling with veteran offie Arlen Konwar (2/35). Chirag Pathak (20) and Sheldon Jackson (39) added 59 for the first wicket. But things went haywire for the visitors after that as it wasn`t a track where one can survive by merely defending.

Brief scores: Saurashtra 175 (Sheldon Jackson 39, Ashish Yadav 4/35, S Bangar 2/19, A Konwar 2/35).

Railways 71/8 (Ravindra Jadeja 6/22).

PTI