New Delhi: Wicket-keeper batsman Mahesh Rawat scored second century of the season as Railways scored a respectable 379 in their first innings against minnows Orissa in a Ranji Trophy Elite Group A match at the Karnail Singh Stadium on Wednesday.
In reply, Orissa openers Subhrajit Sahoo (60 batting, 95 balls, 9x4) and Paresh Patel (41 batting, 105 balls, 5x4, 1x6) batted steadily to end the day at 108 for no loss. The ball is still keeping low and there is some turn on offer which makes home team favourites to get at least three points.
However, India discard Murali Kartik, who sent down eight overs, hardly troubled the batsmen as he bowled to a wrong line.
Although he was allowed to bowl from his preferred end, he couldn`t land the ball on the rough patch created at the pavilion end as both openers time and again dispatched him to the boundary. Left-handed Patel also hit him over mid-wicket for a huge six.
Sahoo who played a free-flowing knock was lucky when his mistimed pull-shot was dropped by Anureet Singh at mid-wicket off leggie Karan Sharma`s very first delivery. It was a rank long hop but Anureet couldn`t latch onto the chance.
The day however belonged to Rawat who along with Ashish Yadav (68, 120 balls, 9x4) added 114 runs for the sixth wicket. Rawat, who scored 103 in 205 balls, batted three minutes less than five hours and hit 12 boundaries in the process. This was his fifth ton in first-class cricket.
Although the wicket was of two-paced nature, Rawat and Yadav showed a lot of positive intent unlike some of the top-order batsmen who never intended on forcing the issue.
Even Karan, who scored a quickfire 32 with four boundaries and a six threw his bat around to get some valuable runs at the end of the innings. Orissa got five penalty runs as Karan was seen running on the pitch.
Brief Scores: Railways 379 in 144.4 overs (Mahesh Rawat 103, Shiva Kant Shukla 97, Ashish Yadav 68, Bipalb Samantray 3/62). Orissa 108/0 (Subhrajit Sahoo 60 batting, Paresh Patel 41 batting).