Ranji Trophy: Akash runs through Goa to hand Railways roaring win

Slow left-arm spinner takes 9-71 to knock over visitors for 242 and set up 63-run win

Ranji Trophy: Akash runs through Goa to hand Railways roaring win

A brilliant career-best 9-71 by Akash Pandey derailed Goa's chase of 306.

BRIEF SCORES: Railways, 1st innings. 297 in 90.5 overs (Upendra Yadav 91, Suraj Ahuja 81; Deepraj Gaonkar 3-26) & 2nd innings. 208 in 63.3 overs (Ashutosh Sharma 81; Darshan Misal 4-44) vs Goa, 1st innings. 200 in 68.2 overs (Amogh Desai 61; Adarsh Singh 4-49, Akash Pandey 4-62) & 2nd innings. 242 in 65.2 overs (Suyash Prabhudessai 67; Akash Pandey 9-71)

A brilliant career-best 9-71 by slow left-arm orthodox bowler Akash Pandey spun Goa out for 242 to hand Railways a thumping 63-run win in their sixth-round Ranji Trophy Elite Group C clash at the Lalbhai Contractor Stadium in Surat on Monday.

Resuming at 93-1 and needing another 213 runs for a rare win, the overnight Goa batters Suyash Prabhudessai and Snehal Kauthankar appeared at ease against the Railways pace duo of Yuvraj Singh and Adarsh Singh, who bowled eight overs in tandem at the start of the final day.

With the introduction of spin, Akash Pandey's first delivery led to Suyash's downfall. Despite being well-set and playing with restraint until then, Suyash's impetuosity got the better of him. A needless sweep attempt on his individual score of 67 (115 balls, 4 fours) resulted in a top edge, which was caught by Vivek Singh at first slip with a well-timed jump.

With the in-form Suyash returning to the pavilion at 111-2, having forged a 76-run second wicket stand with Kauthankar, another partnership was essential. But the rest of the lineup floundered against the spin mastery led by Akash. Shortly after, Deepraj Gaonkar (5) trying to dominate the slow bowler stepped out to play a big shot, but missed the line and was stumped.

With Akash on top of his game, an attacking field was set for southpaw Manthan Khutkar, who tried to play the odd stroke in the testing times. Meanwhile, the other set batsman, Kauthankar bizarrely left an Akash delivery alone which took his leg stump after he made a patient 37.

Joining in the fun, part-time offie, Pratham Singh claimed Khutkar caught and bowled for 17 as the visitors lost half their side on 142 and were faced with an uphill task.

Akash with a superlative spell in spin-conducive conditions never allowed things to drift a second time for his side in the match as he claimed the rest of the batters to fall.

Goa captain, Darshan Misal (33), along with cameos from Mohit Redkar (11-ball 20) and Heramb Parab (24-ball 34) delayed the inevitable in an extended opening session. Akash Pandey (26, 4-62 and 9-71) was later awarded the Player of the Match.

With four points from two draws and four losses, Goa lie at the bottom of the eight-team Elite Group C table, with Chandigarh above them with five points. Meanwhile, Railways - with six points from the win over Goa - moved into fourth spot with 18 points behind leaders Karnataka (24 points), Tamil Nadu (22) and Gujarat (19).

Goa play their last group fixture against Gujarat in Porvorim from February 16.

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