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January 7, 2008
Railways 260 and 14 for 1 (Bangar 0*, Kartik 9*, Makda 1-1) trail Gujarat 280 (Modi 107, Parthiv 52, Bangar 5-54) by 6 runs
Gujarat, overnight on 140 for 2, doubled that total on the third day to take a first-innings lead of 20 against Railways in final of the Ranji Plate League at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. In reply, Railways were at 14 for 1, still trailing by six runs.
Gujarat's lead was due in large part to Nilesh Modi, who added 41 to his overnight 66. However, they were unable to build on that as their middle order - barring Hem Joshipura, who made 36 - failed to chip in with substantial scores.
Niraj Patel and Modi added 45 for the fourth wicket after Mohnish Parmar fell early in the day. After Niraj fell, Modi went on score his seventh first-class hundred before he was snared by Harvinder Singh, the former India fast bowler. Modi's 107 came off 317 deliveries, with 18 fours.
Joshipura and Timil Patel combined to help Gujarat take the lead but Joshipura's wicket, with the score on 255, triggered a collapse; Gujarat lost the last four wickets for 25 runs. Runs came at a trickle, with Gujarat's run-rate 1.92 runs per over. Sanjay Bangar was the most impressive bowler, with 5 for 54 from his 42 overs in Gujarat's innings, including 19 maidens.
Railways then played out eight overs before close, losing Siddharth Joshi early to Ashraf Makda. Nightwatchman Murali Kartik and Bangar negotiated the remaining overs without further damage. Railways would be pleased with conceding a lead of 20, and a good batting display by them in the second innings could put pressure on Gujarat's batsmen on the final day.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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