Ranji Trophy Plate League, semi-finals, 2nd day December 25, 2007

Gujarat in command, Kerala strike back

Cricinfo staff

Gujarat 192 and 98 for 2 (Modi 49) lead Madhya Pradesh 93 (Amit Singh 4-31, Trivedi 3-25, Makda 2-31) by 197 runs

Amit Singh, the right-arm medium-pacer, claimed career-best figures of 4 for 31 as Madhya Pradesh were bowled out for a paltry 92. Gujarat then added 98 runs for the loss to two wickets to gain an overall lead of 197 to seize the initiative in their Ranji Trophy Plate League semi-final in Delhi.

MP, resuming on their overnight score of 3 for 1, were rattled by the trio of Amit, Siddharth Trivedi and Ashraf Makda, as they went into lunch at 70 for 7. Singh dismissed opener Mudassar Pasha and Jatin Saxena before taking a couple of lower-order wickets after the interval to finish things off. The only resistance from MP came from veteran Devendra Bundela, who scored 34 before he was run out.

Gujarat's openers, Nilesh Modi and Rajesh Tabiar, added 71 runs before Tabair was dismissed by Anand Rajan for 19. Modi missed out on his half-century when he was trapped by Sanjay Pandey on the last ball of the day, while Parthiv Patel remained unbeaten on 15.

Railways 123 for 3 (Rawle 44*, Sanyal 40*, Chandran 2-13) trail Kerala 357 (Vinan Nair 70, Anish 55*) by 234 runs

Vinan Nair and Sadanandan Anish launched a late-order assault to propel Kerala to 357 from their overnight 207 for 6. Railways responded with 123 for 3 by the close of play to leave their Ranji Trophy Plate League semi-final in Nagpur evenly poised.

Nair hammered 70 off just 60 balls with 14 fours and a six to lead the surge. Anish followed his example by hitting seven fours and a six during his unbeaten 55. Kerala lost two wickets early in the morning before the duo were brought together with the score reading 240 for 8. They added 63 runs before Nair was dismissed by Santhosh Saxena. Anish continued to frustrate Railways as he added 54 runs for the last wicket with Prasanth Chandran, who fell to the bowling of Sanjay Bangar for 8.

Chandran, who opened the bowling, effected a double-strike to have Railways in trouble - accounting for openers Siddharth Joshi and Amit Pagnis. Anish then got into the act, trapping Bangar with his offspin for 13, to leave Railways stuttering at 41 for 3. Harshad Rawle and Sanjib Sanyal, who were involved in an unbroken 83-run stand for the fourth wicket, ensured that Railways did not endure any further damage.