Railways created the biggest upset in this Ranji Trophy season so far, after they defeated domestic giants Mumbai by 10 wickets within three days in their Elite Group B match at Mumbai on Friday.
After bundling out Mumbai for paltry 114 on the opening day, Railways riding on skipper Karn Sharma’s unbeaten 112, grabbed a crucial 152-run first innings lead.
Then Railways pacer Himanshu Sangwan (5-60) took five wickets, as Mumbai were bundled out for 198 in their second essay at the Wankhede Stadium, after Test specialist Ajinkya Rahane failed miserably in the second innings as well.
The 41-time domestic champions resumed the third day on their overnight score of 64/3 and needed to bat as long as possible to avoid an outright defeat or to at-least force a draw.
However, Rahane, who was unbeaten on 3 could add only five runs to his score, and was dismissed on 8.
Rahane, who has played 63 Tests, was caught by wicket-keeper Nitin Bhille, putting Mumbai in a spot of bother at 69-4.
Then skipper Suryakumar Yadav (65 off 94 runs) and experienced Aditya Tare (14 off 47 balls) tried to rally the Mumbai innings with their 64-run stand.
They tried to frustrate the Railways’ bowlers and Yadav unlike his usual attacking game, played a sedate knock.
However, Railways’ pacer Pradeep T, who had taken six wickets in the first innings, broke the partnership, after removing Tare, who edged to keeper Nitin Bhille.
After, Tare’s dismissal, Railways pegged back the hosts by taking two wickets in quick succession — Surya and Shams Mulani (1) — as Mumbai slipped to 135-7.
However, Shardul Thakur (21 off 31 balls) along with Akash Parkar (35 not out), ensured that Mumbai avoided an innings defeat.
Leggie Sharma had trapped Parkar in front of the wicket, but it was declared a no-ball for overstepping and Parkar got a life.
At the stroke of lunch, Thakur edged, only to be caught by Mrunal Devdhar in the slip cordon, as Mumbai were teetering at 164/8, and were ahead only by 12 runs.
Pacer Tushar Deshpande survived for 15 balls, but fell when Mumbai were 33 runs ahead.
With Parkar’s knock, Mumbai could at least set a 47- run target.
For Railways, openers Mrunal Devdhar (27 not out) and Pratham Singh (19 not out) overhauled the target in the 12th over, with all 10 wickets to spare.
The Railways’ win is more special, as 42 overs were lost on the first two days due to bad light and delayed start because of the solar eclipse on Thursday.
Mumbai had won their lung-opener against Baroda and will play heavyweights Karnataka at the Bandra Kurla Complex ground from January 3.
Brief Scores: Mumbai 114 and 198 (Suryakumar Yadav 65, Akash Parkar 35 not out, Himanshu Sangwan 5-60) versus Railways 266 and 47/0. Railways won by 10 wickets. Railways 7 points, Mumbai 0 points.