Ranji Trophy: Mumbai in pole position

Mumbai, Nov 4 (IANS) Despite a heroic fightback from the Railways middle-order, Mumbai held on to a lead of 190 runs in a Group A Ranji Trophy tie here at the Wankhede Stadium Sunday.

Chasing Mumbai's mammoth first innings score of 570 all out, the Railways ended the third day of the match with their score on 380 for eight.

Skipper Sanjay Bangar (67) and Nitin Bhille (73) led the comeback for the visitors with a brilliant 110-run stand for the third wicket.

Starting the day with an overnight score of 86/2, Bangar smashed three sixes and six fours as the Railways reached 141/2.

Bangar though fell victim to part-time medium pacer Abhishek Nayar, who continued his good run in the match after scoring an unbeaten century for Mumbai.

Bhille carried on from where Bangar left off, stroking 10 fours and a six in a faultless innings.

Agarkar picked up his third wicket accounting for the dangerous Bhille.

The Railways middle-order did their best as they inched closer to Mumbai's massive total but the batsmen failed to capitalise on their good start.

Mahesh Rawat (68), Ashish Yadav (47) and Murali Kartik (41), all played a valiant hand but failed to convert their starts into big scores.

Agrakar was ably supported by young spinner Iqbal Abdulla (2/67), who was instrumental in removing the Railways tail.

Though there was some bad news for Mumbai and Indian fans as pacer Zaheer Khan walked off the field with an injury. This could be heavy blow for the national team, who are gearing up to face England in a four-match Test series starting Nov 15.

With two days of play remaining Railways will have to bat out of their skin to have any chance of scoring points in this match.

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