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Clearly a Sourav Ganguly fan, he blew on his conch when his hero took to the field. When Ganguly failed, he switched loyalites to the rest of the Bengal team.
As the day progressed his enthusiasm faded away and finally vanished altogether by the close of play.
Going into the final day, Bengal were 105 with six wickets down needing another 39 runs to make Railways bat again. In a match both teams needed to win, to advance to the knock out stage of the Ranji Elite division, Railways are clearly in the drivers’ seat.
On the eve of the match Bengal had criticised the pitch, declaring it under-prepared. They were then dismissed for 201 in their first innings.
The Railways , though, showed that the pitch was not the unplayable track it was made out to be by scoring 345. Batting overnight on 35, Dhiran Salvi scored his maiden first-class half century to finish unbeaten on 81.
He put together partnerships of 50 for the seventh wicket with JP Yadav and 47 for the ninth with Nilesh Chauhan “It helped me that I was not batting with genuine tail-enders. JP Yadav, Kartik and Nilesh are quite handy with the bat, so there was no pressure on me to shield them from the bowlers,” Salvi said.
Iresh Saxena of Bengal took five wickets but the damage was already done. Railways had taken a substantial lead of 144, and as the Bengal squad slunk back to the pavilion, their drooped shoulders already indicated how demoralised they had become.
In the second innings, Anustup Majumdar came out to bat in the place of the injured Arindam Das. The makeshift opener Majumdar fell for just three runs and the Bengal collapse was underway. Wickets fell at regular intervals, and runs dried up. When captain Manoj Tiwary fell at the stroke of tea, the question was not what target Bengal would set Railways, but whether they would survive the day.
Ganguly fails to impress
There would be no fighting innings from Sourav Ganguly. The former India skipper seemed a pale shadow of himself. His feet never seemed to move and the only four that came when he was batting was off a ripper bowled by Murali Kartik that hit his pad on the way to the boundary. Ganguly inevitably fell in the manner he did in the first innings- bowled by Anureet Singh, off an inside edge while attempting to punch a delivery that was too close to him.