Ranji Trophy Plate League, semi-finals, 1st day December 25, 2007

Madhya Pradesh and Railways claim first-day honours

Cricinfo staff

Madhya Pradesh 3 for 1 trail Gujarat 192 (Timil Patel 71*, Makda 40, Dholpure 3-28, Pandey 3-56) by 189 runs

Madhya Pradesh bowled out Gujarat for 192, with offspinner Sunil Dhoplure and right-arm medium-pacer Sanjay Pandey taking three wickets apiece, to take control of their Ranji Trophy Plate League semi-final in Delhi. It could have been much worse for Gujarat but for Timil Patel's unbeaten 71, much of which came in the company of the lower oder.

Gujarat, who were asked to bat, were in trouble in the first over when Nilesh Modi edged to wicketkeeper Naman Ojha off Pandey. Rajesh Tabiar and Parthiv Patel then adopted a defensive approach to see off the new ball.

Parthiv, who had made his way to 20, fell immediately after spin was introduced when he edged Dholpure to Ojha. Dholpure soon claimed his second wicket when he bowled Neeraj Patel. Seamer Anand Rajan then took two wickets in quick time, ending Tabiar's dour 12-run knock off 82 balls by having him caught behind before cleanbowling Bhavin Thaker. At that time, Gujarat were 51 for 5, and lost three more quick wickets to reach 92 for 8.

Timil then found support from Ashraf Makda at the other end as the two added 86 for the ninth wicket.

MP lost Ojha just before stumps were drawn when he edged Makda to Parthiv.

Kerala 207 for 6 (Sebastian 52, Nair 44, Bangar 2-28, Kartik 2-31) v Railways

Railways, led by economical bowling from Sanjay Bangar and captain Murali Kartik, managed to put the screws on the Kerala batsman, who scored 207 runs for the loss of six wickets in their Ranji Trophy Plate League semi-final in Nagpur.

Earlier Kartik's decision to send Kerala in was vindicated when Santosh Saxena dismissed Raiphi Gomez in the eight over. But Antony Sebastian and captain Sony Cheruvathur set about consolidating the innings by adding 61 runs.

Harvinder Singh struck just before lunch when he got Cheruvathur's wicket for 26. Sebastian fell to Bangar soon after completing his half-century.

Preambhastn Prem and Sreekumar Nair then added 54 runs for the fourth wicket in 29.2 overs before Prem was cleaned up by Kartik. Kartik claimed his second wicket when he had VA Jagadeesh caught by Amit Pagnis for 17.

Nair, who scored a painstaking 44 at a strike rate of below 25, fell on the last ball of the day to Bangar. Railways managed to bowl 35 maiden overs in the day.