Railways wrest the initiative against Rajasthan

Bhubaneswar: Railways wrested the initiative in the final session to leave Rajasthan struggling at 56 for three in reply to their first innings score of 405 on the second day of the four-day Ranji Trophy Group A match here today.

Thanks to lively spell from medium pacer Anureet Singh who removed Robin Bist (13) and Puneet Yadav (0), Rajasthan were off to a dismal start.

In between, the gentle medium pace of skipper Sanjay Bangar accounted for opener Sourabh Chouhan (16) to help Railways tighten their grip on the match.

Earlier, resuming the day at 239 for four, Railways` Parag Madkaikar added just 16 runs to his individual overnight score before being scalped by pacer Manjeet Singh.

Other overnight batsman, Ashish Yadav (25) was beaten by the pace of Sumit Mathur as the hosts slumped to 297 for six.

The resilient lower middle-order of Railways showed a lot of character and zeal to stand in there and fight the odds as wicketkeeper Mahesh Rawat struck a fine half-century and, in the company of Avinash Yadav (26) and Anureet (23), took the team`s total past 400-run mark.

Rawat faced 69 balls and struck nine fours.

For the home team, the last wicket pair of Anureet and Ranjitkumar Mali (14 not out) showed grit and character, adding 36 runs to help the hosts reach a respectable total.

Brief Scores: Railways 405 all out in 145.2 overs (Shivakant Shukla 109, Parag Madkaikar 86, Mahesh Rawat 52; Aniket Choudhury 3/82, Sumit Mathur 3/55).

Rajasthan: 56 for 3 in 32 overs (Vineet Saxena 20 batting; Anureet Singh 2/18).