New Delhi: Opener Shivakant Shukla missed three-figure mark by only four runs but his painfully slow batting alongside skipper Sanjay Bangar saw Railways crawl to 204 for five against Orissa, on the first day in a Ranji Trophy ELite Group match at Karnail Singh Stadium.
Having scored 94 runs in 34 overs during the first session, the home team suddenly went into a shell scoring only 110 runs in the next 56 overs.
Shivakant who had scored 98 in the previous match against UP, scored his half century in the pre-lunch session but could barely get going in the second and third sessions.
He was out in the penultimate over of the day adjudged leg before to offie Govind Poddar. The decision was a debatable one as the ball seemed like travelling over the stumps. The southpaw scored 96 from 264 balls with the help of 12 boundaries and a six.
Shivakant and skipper Bangar (46, 165 balls, 3x4, 1x6) added 107 runs for the third wicket after seamer Alok Mangaraj and No 3 batsman Nitin Bhille were dismissed in the first hour.
Shivakant played some good shots square of the wicket while Bangar showed a bit of intent in the first session when he tried to use his feet against the spinners.
The Orissa bowlers bowled with a lot more discipline in the second session. Medium pacer Basant Mohanty came from round the wicket to cramp the batsmen for room. The fielding side also spread the field in order to stop the boundaries.
It was medium pacer Biplab Samantray who found Bangar`spads and removed Prashanth Awasthi of the very next delivery.
Suddenly from 148 for two, Railways slumped to 148 for four but Mahesh Rawat`s positive approach helped the home team get some quick runs. Rawat hit six boundaries during his unbeaten knock of 38 and is batting in company of Ashish Yadav.
Brief Scores: Railways 204/5 (Shuvakant Shukla 96, Sanjay Bangar 46, Mahesh Rawat 38 batting, Biplab Samantray 2/32) vs Orissa.