Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: On a day when play was reduced to just 32 overs, Maharashtra finished at 55 for one against Railways in the Ranji Trophy Elite league match at the Karnail Singh Stadium here on Tuesday.

In testing conditions, Maharashtra did well to lose just one wicket when Abhijit Kale nicked a ball that `kicked'. Left-hander Dheeraj Jadhav and Hrishikesh Kanitkar negotiated the attack with confidence and skill to defy the Railway bowlers, who found the edges and hit the pads but made no further dents on the opening day.

Damp spots on the pitch, resulting from rainwater seeping through inadequate covers, forced the host to resort to archaic methods to dry the pitch. However, it reflected poorly on the organising skills of the host. The situation also served as a reminder of the fact that Railways continues to be without a curator and a team manager, with its genial coach Vinod Sharma expected to play more roles than one.

The scores:Maharashtra - 1st innings: D. Jadhav (batting) 23, A. Kale c Wankhede b J.P. Yadav 1, H. Kanitkar (batting) 21, Extras (lb-1, nb-9) 10, Total (for one wkt. in 32 overs) 55.

Fall of wicket: 1-9.

Railways bowling: H. Singh 10-1-23-0, J.P. Yadav 9-3-11-1, S. Bangar 10-3-17-0, K. Parida 2-1-3-0, M. Yadav 1-1-0-0.

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