New Delhi: A distinct lack of application by the Delhi batsmen helped Sanjay Bangar-led Railways win an exciting sixth round Ranji Trophy Super League (Group A) encounter by 22 runs, at the Roshanara Club ground on Saturday.
Chasing a modest victory target of 136, Delhi batsmen failed to show any stomach for fight on a seaming track as they were shot out for 113 in only 44.2 overs.
Rarely does one find a side end up on a losing note when its opener has scored 151 (Unmukt Chand) and new-ball bowler (Sumit Narwal) has taken seven wickets in an innings.
But on a track where it would have been a test of technique, the middle-order couldn`t apply themselves when all they required was one good partnership.
The defeat means that Delhi who stay put on 13 points will now face defending champions Mumbai in a do-or-die match at the Roshanara from next Wednesday.
Even Railways who registered their first outright win are on 11 points and will fancy an outside chance of making it to the knock-out stage with a match against Bengal still left.
Resuming on their overnight score of 48 for four, a lot depended on the two overnight batsmen Rajat Bhatia (13) and Gaurav Chhabra (7) but both succumbed to the pressure created due to some disciplined bowling by Anureet Singh (4/53), JP Yadav (3/39).
The duo bowled in the right areas and let the pitch do the rest. First Chhabra was caught in the slips by Faiz Fazal off Anureet and then JP dismissed Bhatia whose footwork was circumspect during his 69-minute stay at the wicket. He was taken in the gully by Shreyas Khanolkar.
At 76 for six, Sumit Narwal (39, 58 balls, 5x4) tried his best but there wasn`t much support from the other end save for a brief period when Narwal and Pradeep Sangwan (9) added 24 runs for the eighth wicket.
Once Sangwan was caught at forward short leg by Faiz off Harshaw Rawle, Narwal ran out of patience.
It was good thinking by skipper Bangar that led to Narwal`s dismissal in the 44th over. With Vikas Mishra at the other end, Narwal hit a boundary off the third delivery and refused singles on the other four deliveries.
Having a look at the vacant third-man area, the southpaw tried to guide the last delivery of the over only managing to edge it to Mahesh Rawat who took a smart catch behind the stumps.
In the next over, Mishra was run-out as Railways completed one of their memorable victory in the Ranji Trophy.