Railways register highest successful run chase in 90-year-old history of Ranji Trophy

In an awe-inspiring display of determination and skill, the Railways cricket team carved out a new chapter in the history of the Ranji Trophy by successfully achieving the highest run chase the venerable tournament has ever witnessed. On Monday, as they took on Tripura in a gripping Elite Group C match at the Maharaja Bir Bikram College Stadium in Agartala, Railways achieved the incredible feat of chasing down a colossal target of 378 runs, marking the conclusion of their season with a resounding victory.

The magnitude of Railways’ achievement is underscored by the adversities they faced through the course of the match. Their troubles began after dismissing Tripura for a modest first-innings total of 149, in which Sridam Paul stood out with a gritty 71. Despite Yuvraj Singh’s commendable four-wicket haul, Railways found themselves on the back foot, succumbing to a 45-run deficit after being bowled out for a scant 105. This was largely due to the devastating bowling performance of Tripura’s Manisankar Murasingh, who clinched a five-wicket haul, leaving the Railways lineup in disarray.

Tripura, buoyed by their first-innings lead, capitalized on the momentum by putting up a strong 333 in their second innings. This substantial score set Railways a daunting 378-run target. Many thought this spelled the end of Railways’ resistance in the match as their batting order shuddered to 31 for 3, once again under Murasingh’s pressure. The records seemed safe until Railways found their champions in Pratham Singh and Mohammad Saif, two batters who refused to submit to the narrative of an inevitable defeat.

The pairing of Singh and Saif was a pivotal moment in the run chase. They stitched together an imposing 175-run partnership for the fourth wicket, restoring hope and shifting the match dramatically. Saif, the more aggressive of the two, carved out a brilliant 106 from just 126 balls before falling to the craft of Bikramjit Debnath.

Even after Saif’s dismissal, Singh remained unflappable. He went on to construct another pivotal stand of 118 runs with Arindam Ghosh for the fifth wicket. Ghosh’s departure left Railways needing 54 more runs, but any concerns were promptly laid to rest as Singh, exemplifying the poise and resilience of a seasoned veteran, led his team over the line, remaining unbeaten on a majestic 169.

This landmark victory saw Railways surpass the previous record of highest run chase in the Ranji Trophy set by Saurashtra, who chased down 372 against Uttar Pradesh in the 2019-20 season.

The historic run chases in the trophy’s celebrated history now read as follows:
– Railways – 378/5 versus Tripura in 2024
– Saurashtra – 372/5 versus Uttar Pradesh in 2019-20
– Assam – 371/4 against Services in 2008-09
– Rajasthan – 360/4 against Vidarbha in 1989-90
– Uttar Pradesh – 359/4 versus Maharashtra in 2021-22

Railways’ extraordinary triumph serves as evidence of cricket’s unpredictable and exhilarating nature, demonstrating that no target is beyond reach, and no game is over until the last ball is bowled. Though Railways will not be advancing further in Group C, the incredible win will certainly resonate for a long time, and the tale of their chase will become a glorious part of Ranji Trophy folklore. Critics and fans alike tipped their hats to Railways, as they turned a seeming debacle into a story of historical proportions, challenging the limits of perseverance and team spirit.

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