Ranji Trophy 2012-13, Group A, 9th Round, 2nd day December 30, 2012

Railways take steps towards outright win

ESPNcricinfo staff

Railways 214 (Paunikar 50, Sarkar 4-62) and 20 for 0 lead Bengal 157 (Karan Sharma 4-22) by 77 runs

Bowled out for 214, needing an outright win to give themselves some sort of chance of making it to the quarter-finals, Railways dismissed Bengal for 157 to stay alive. However, even if they win the match they will have to hope the match between Saurashtra and Madhya Pradesh in Rajkot doesn't yield an outright result.

Railways failed to add to their overnight 214 for 9, but wasted little time in getting wickets for themselves. Bengal got off to an extremely cautious start, scoring 23 before losing their first opener in the 15th over. Medium-pacers Krishnakant Upadhyay and Ranjitkumar Mali took two apiece to reduce the hosts to 91 for 4 after which the legspin of Karan Sharma ran through the tail. Upadhyay and Mali ended with three each.

The Railways openers reached 20 before stumps to add to their first-innings advantage.

Rajasthan 384 (Saxena 84, Menaria 63, Reddy 5-67) lead Hyderabad 160 for 5 (Sumanth 43, Rituraj Singh 2-39) by 224 runs

Defending champions Rajasthan took massive steps towards avoiding relegation when they reduced Hyderabad to 160 for 5 after scoring 384 themselves. It wasn't always that rosy: the Hyderabad openers, Akshath Reddy and K Sumanth, added 91 before the collapse began.

The day began with Rajasthan at 274 for 5, but they added just 110 to that overnight score. Ashish Reddy was instrumental in that containment: he got Rashmi Parida early in the day, and ran through the tail to take his third first-class five-for. He will be on a hat-trick in the second innings.

Akshath Reddy continued on Ashish's good work, but the Rajasthan medium-pacers - Pankaj Singh, Deepak Chahar, Rituraj Singh and Aniket Choudhary- all worked well as a team to take those five wickets before stumps.

Mumbai 323 for 5 (Jaffer 171, Hiken Shah 82) lead Gujarat 244 (Parthiv 101, Chavan 3-54) by 79 runs

Wasim Jaffer scored his first century of the season, made it a big one, and Mumbai were all but through to the knockouts as they took the lead over Gujarat. Mumbai came into the match needing three points, and it's unlikely they will declare to give Gujarat enough time to reverse this result.

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Saurashtra 242 (Vasavada 54, Pandey 3-43) and 18 for 1 lead Madhya Pradesh 135 (Ojha 44, Joshi 3-17, Unadkat 3-20, D Jadeja 3-51) by 125 runs

Before this game started, Saurashtra's only chance of achieving the outright win that would take them to the quarter-finals was believed to be their spin attack, considered to be better than Madhya Pradesh's. Despite the absence of Ravindra Jadeja and Nayan Doshi, the trio of Kamlesh Makvana, Vishal Joshi and debutant Dharmendrasinh Jadeja showed why that belief was right, earning a first-innings lead of 107. MP's dismal batting means they too will now have to push for an improbable victory, when a first-innings lead would have sufficed.

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