Karnataka gain innings lead against Railways

Published: Friday, November 25, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Santosh Saxena claimed a career best six for 65 but could not stop Karnataka from winning the battle of attrition for the first innings lead against Railways in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group 'A' cricket league match here today.

Saxena, with the visitors needing six runs to go past Railways first innings total of 323 with only two wickets in hand, conceded four extras including a two off a wide ball and then saw a low kept delivery beat Anil Kumble's bat only to hit the fielder's helmet for a penalty of five runs.

As fate would have it, the 29-year old right arm fast bowler who began as a vegetable seller in the gullies of Mumbai went on to dismiss the two tailenders in the very next over.

But Karnataka were a relieved lot, having secured two points through some attritional batting and ended up with 336 on the third day at the Karnail Singh stadium.

At stumps, Railways were none for no loss with Amit Pagnis and Sanjay Bangar at the crease.

Karnataka gained from sensible batting by the middle order although they still needed the experience of Kumble (19) to see them past the final hurdle as they were eight down and still 16 short.

Sudhindra Shinde (82) and Stuart Binny (42) featured in a 93-run stand while wicketkeeper-batsman Thilak Naidu's 45 in the second half of the day was equally important.

Resuming at 134 for three, Karnataka almost ran away with the match as Shinde and Binny pushed the score close to 200 in the first 2-1/2 hours.

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