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Ranji Trophy: Match officials suspend game between Punjab, Railways due to ‘dangerous & unfit’ pitch

The game saw 330 runs and 24 wickets in the 103 overs bowled, with the pacers picking 20 wickets out of the total.

New Delhi: The game between Punjab and Railways in the Ranji Trophy has been suspended due to ‘dangerous and unfit’ playing conditions. The match officials had to intervene on day 2 of the match and label the pitch at the Karnail Singh Stadium as ‘unfit for play’ after unpredictable bounce led to falling wickets. The teams will now play a two-day game on a new pitch on December 22-23.

The game saw 330 runs and 24 wickets in the 103 overs bowled, with the pacers picking 20 wickets out of the total. Indian pitches are considered favourable for batting and as the surface depletes and gets dusty, spinners start getting help, however, the Karnail Singh Stadium has a pace-friendly pitch due to the uneven bounce.

The match officials took the decision to stop the play during the drinks break of the second session on day 2 when Punjab was playing their second inning. Umpires K Madanagopal and Rajeev Godara had a chat with match referee Youraj Singh and captains Mandeep Singh (Punjab) and Karn Sharma (Railways) before leading to the conclusion.

Punjab’s better Abhishek Sharma shared his experience of the game with PTI and said that he has not seen such a pitch in a Ranji Trophy game before. He said that the unpredictable bounce made the wicket unsafe and the umpire took the right decision.

The pitches at the Karnail Singh Stadium have been in controversies in the past also. BCCI’s technical committee put the tracks in the stadium on a watchlist in 2011 and the next year, the venue was banned for two years. The committee found that local curators deliberately under-prepared the track to help Railways, which led to the ban and Railways to shift home ground to Bhubaneswar.

baltej singh
Picture courtesy: Punjab Cricket Association/Twitter

In the game. Punjab started well with openers Prabhsimran Singh and Abhishek Sharma putting a fifty runs partnership. After that Adarsh Singh managed to take a five-wicket haul to limit Punjab to 162. The Railways were restricted to 150 after Baltej Singh picked six wickets, only Yuvraj Singh managed to score a fifty. The game was stopped when Punjab was 18/4 after Yuvraj picked all four wickets.