Bhubaneswar: Madhya Pradesh closed in on an outright victory after they reduced Railways to 54 for five in their second innings on the third and penultimate day of the their Group A Ranji Trophy match here on Monday.
After posting 377 in their first innings, MP bundled out Railways for a meagre 214 and then imposed a follow on.
While following on, Railways were struggling at the draw of stumps with V Cheluvaraj unbeaten on 23 and Mahesh Rawat not out on 3.
Railways require 110 more runs with fuve wickets in hand to avoid innings defeat.
Resuming the day on 63 for three, Railways kept losing wickets at regular intervals with Ishwar Pandey (6 for 61) wrecking havoc.
Overnight batsman Cheluvaraj though scored a valuable 42 after starting the day on 10 and also shared an important 51-run stand with Mahesh Rawat (22) for the sixth wicket.
Thereafter Ashish Yadav, who top scored with 53 off 83 balls with seven hits to the fence, put on a 53-run partnership with Hardik Rathod (4) to consolidate the innings. He was the last man to get out.
Still trailing MP`s first innings total by 163 runs, Railways were asked to follow on.
Railways got off to a poor start in their second innings as well and lost as many as five wickets for just a little over 50 runs on the board.
Madhya Pradesh: 377
Railways: 214 all out in 78.3 overs (Ashish Yadav 53; Ishwar Pandey 6/61) & 54 for five in 31 overs (V Cheluvaraj batting 23; Amarjeet Singh 2/06, Anand Rajan 2/17).