Kartik and Parida put Railways on the brink of victory
Rest of India 223 and 137 lead Railways 311 (Kartik 96, Goud 78*, Powar 7-116) by 49 runs
Murali Kartik and Kulamani Parida, the two spinners for Railways, engineered a spectacular collapse to leave their team on the brink of an outstanding win in the Irani Trophy match at the Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi. Trailing by 88 in the first innings, Rest of India were bundled out for 137 in the second, leaving Railways a target of only 50 and the prospect of an early finish on the fourth day.
Such a quick end hardly seemed possible when Rest of India recovered from the loss an early wicket and were comfortably placed at 98 for 2 in their second innings, an overall lead of ten. However, the match turned on its head as the remaining eight wickets fell for 39. The slide started when Venugopal Rao was run out for 17. Jadhav followed soon, dismissed by Jai Prakash Yadav for 42, before the spinners took over. Parida got rid of the lower middle order to finish with 3 for 52 and an overall tally of seven wickets for the match, while Kartik, who had earlier played a stellar role with the bat, mopped up the tail en route to figures of 3 for 28.
Railways' first innings had been propped up by a fine 96 by Kartik, and a painstaking unbeaten 78 from Yere Goud. The two put together 151 for the seventh wicket, but Kartik added only seven to his overnight score before he fell, missing his maiden first-class hundred by just four runs. Goud battled on, facing a monumental 292 balls in his innings.
Ramesh Powar, the offspinner from Mumbai, deserved his 7 for 116, having toiled for almost 43 overs and cleaning up the tail. Rest's abject collapse in the second innings ensured, though, that only the formalities remain to be completed on the fourth day.