Ranji Trophy Plate League, Semi-finals, 1st day January 10, 2007

Vishal Bhatia derails Railways

Cricinfo staff

Railways 207 for 9 (TP Singh 54, Bhatia 5-52) v Himachal Pradesh

Railways lost nine wickets to get to 207 on the first day of their Ranji match against Himachal Pradesh at Dharamsala. Vishal Bhatia, Himachal's slow left-arm orthodox bowler, took 5 for 52 including the wicket of Tejinder Pal Singh, Railways top-scorer, for 54. Singh partnered with Sanjay Bangar for 91 runs before he was caught by Mukesh Sharma off Bhatia's bowling. At one stage Railways were sauntering along at 102 for 1 but a Bhatia-induced collapse left them struggling at the end of the day.

After Singh's dismissal, Jai Prakash Yadav fell to Bhatia and Sanjay Bangar to Vikramjeet Malik in successive overs, without a run being scored. Bhatia got the next three wickets in the space of 41 runs before Sarandeep Singh, Himachal's right-arm offbreak bowler, got the last two wickets that fell on the day. Sanjib Sanyal was unbeaten on 34 along with No. 11 batsman Santosh Saxena.

Assam 209 for 6 v Orissa

A couple of 40s from Tarjinder Singh and Nishanta Bordoloi enabled Assam to inch to 209 for 6 at the end of the first day of their semi-final at Cuttack. Debasis Mohanty, the former Indian swing bowler, pocketed three wickets and pegged them back on a hard-fought day. Assam's openers started cautiously, adding 32 in 9.3 overs, and set the tone for a slow-scoring day. Sanjay Satpathy and Niranjan Behara, the offspinners, snapped up one wicket apiece as Orissa clawed back into the contest.