Railways consolidate on day two
Railways who performed beyond expectations on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy semifinal against Punjab at the PCA stadium in Mohali on Thursday, continued their good showing on the second day. At stumps on Friday, they were in a position of considerable strength for, after having bowled out the hosts for 249, they replied with 203 for three off 86 overs.
First, the bowlers, continuing from where they left off on Thursday, allowed the last two Punjab wickets to get only two more runs, the innings progressing no more than nine balls. Former India medium pacer Harvinder Singh finished with five wickets for 66 runs.
For the rest of the day, the batsmen did their bit in helping Railways to consolidate. Openers Amit Pagnis and Sanjay Bangar put on 46 runs off 12 overs before the former was caught by substitute A Kakaria off Vineet Sharma for 27. Then Tejinder Pal Singh (26) and Bangar added 52 runs for the second wicket off 24.2 overs. And finally, the in form Yere Gowda (25) and Bangar were associated in a third wicket partnership of 56 runs off 30 overs. The batsmen plainly grafted for runs in an attempt to occupy the crease for as long as possible. And Bangar was the leading exponent of this strategy. By stumps, the experienced 28-year-old right hander had played 250 balls for his 77, hitting 12 fours in the process.