Ranji Trophy 2012: Rawat, Upadhyay help Railways push Bengal to the brink

At stumps, Maharashtra were 376 for seven, 14 runs ahead of Baroda s first innings total of 362 Getty Images

Kolkata: Dec 31, 2012

Hosts Bengal face an uphill task of surviving the whole of fourth day against Railways in order to avoid a fourth outright defeat in their final group A league encounter of the Ranji Trophy at the JU (Salt Lake ground) here today.

Railways set a daunting target of 372 and Bengal were in a spot of bother as they finished the final day at 13 for one needing another 359 for victory.

Railways scored 314 for nine in their second innings largely due to a 98-run ninth-wicket stand between glovesman Mahesh Rawat (75 not out) and all-rounder Krishna Kant Upadhyay (55 not out).

Their partnership virtually shut out any chances that Bengal harboured of an outright win.

Railways’ go-to man Rawat hit seven boundaries in his 128 ball knock while Upadhyay chanced his arm as he smacked nine boundaries en route his maiden first-class half century.

For a batting line-up which is certainly not the best in terms of Indian First-Class standard, a victory is out of question and it’s there to be seen whether the ‘club-level bullies’ like Sudip Chatterjee, Debabrata Das, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala can at least get a point for their state team at a national-level competition.

Today the pitch at the JU (Salt Lake) ground had eased out considerably and Railways batsmen made merry.

Amit Paunikar (54) helped himself to another half-century while Shivakant Shukla (39) also made useful contribution adding 74 runs for the opening wicket. While the middle-order didn’t perform well but still Railways managed to reach 216 for eight when Upadhyay joined Rawat.

The best part about the partnership was they added the 98 runs in just over 22 overs at a fast clip of over four runs per over.

Brief Scores: Railways 214 & 314 for 9 (Mahesh Rawat 75*, Krishna Kant Upadhyay 55*, Amit Paunikar 54; Abhishek Jhunjhunwala 3 for 42) lead Bengal 157 by 371 runs