Gujarat need 150 to claim Plate title
Gujarat 280 and 30 for 0 need a further 120 runs to beat Railways 260 and 169 (Rawle 45, Raja Ali 46, Singh 3-22)
A strong bowling performance put Gujarat on course for victory in the final of the Ranji Trophy Plate League at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. Gujarat ended the fourth day requiring just 120 more to win with all ten wickets intact. The stars of the day were their bowlers, who dismissed Railways for just 169 in their second innings. The openers then chopped off 30 runs from their target of 150 before close of play.
Resuming their overnight score of 14 for 1, Railways' slide started when Sanjay Bangar and Murali Kartik fell within the space of three deliveries, leaving them tottering at 23 for 3. The middle order barely resisted and succumbed to a three-wicket burst by Amit Singh, as Railways slumped to a precarious 79 for 6.
Harshad Rawle and Raja Ali then battled it out for more than 30 overs in their stand of 56. Rawle scored 45 off 180 balls while Ali was the more fluent of the two, scoring 46 off 99. Their partnership was dislodged by legspinner Timil Patel, and the lower order could do little to push the score. Singh finished with figures of 3 for 22 while Mohnish Parmar, Ashraf Makda and Patel too two wickets apiece.
Nilesh Modi and Rajesh Tabiar, the Gujarat openers, then played out 20 overs in the evening. They didn't score too many, but importantly for the team, they were still together when the last ball of the day had been bowled.