Ranji Trophy Plate League, semi-finals, 3rd day January 12, 2007

Sandeep Sharma torments Railways

Cricinfo staff

Himachal Pradesh 346 for 7 (Sandeep Sharma 161, Mukesh Sharma 44*) lead Railways 229 by 117 runs

Things didn't get any better for Railways as Himachal Pradesh, led by their captain Sandeep Sharma, piled on the runs and the frustration against a team fighting to gain a promotion to the Super League. Sharma batted for the better part of two days for his 161 before Sanjay Bangar finally ended his marathon knock, which came off 521 balls. Mukesh Sharma chipped in with an unbeaten 44 as Himachal extended their lead to 117 with three wickets in hand. With only two days to go, it would take a minor miracle for Railways to fight back in this one.

Assam 235 and 100 for 6 (Aziz 50, Mohanty 3-29) lead Orissa 233 (Behera 57, Das 5-65) by 102 runs

Pritam Das, in his first-class debut did Assam proud as his five-wicket haul helped his side gain an invaluable two run lead in the semi-final against Orissa at Cuttack. Orissa were in danger of folding up for under 200 but the last-wicket pair of Sourabha Sehgal and Sukanta Khatua resisted. Das finally brought an end to the innings after trapping Khatua for 14. Assam in their second innings were jolted first by Debasis Mohanty who picked up three early wickets and later by Sehgal, who took two late wickets in his six overs, during which he conceded just one run. With Assam ahead by just 102, both teams head to the final day evenly matched.