Railways' takes firm grip in National final

Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2001, 4:18 [IST]
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Faridabad: Railways' women took an 82-run first innings lead against Air India on the second day in the final of senior National Women's Cricket Championship in Faridabad on Monday.
Guided by an unbeaten 99 by Mithali Raj, the defending champions scored 214 for the loss of seven wickets in the allotted 90 overs, replying to Air India's first innings total of 132 all out. On the third and last day on Tuesday, both teams will bat 45 overs each in the second innings. Resuming at eight for the loss of one wicket, Railways was pushed on the defensive straightaway losing the wickets of Rajni Venugopal and Kavitha Roy to be 47 for three. But Mithali Raj added 59 runs with Hemlatha Kala before the latter fell leg before wicket to medium pacer Jhulan Goswami as Railways reached 106 for four in the 54th over. Kala faced 105 balls and hit six boundaries. Air India quickly took two more wickets to grab back the initiative and at 108 for six in the 59th over Railways was in a corner. But Mithali Raj had other ideas and in the company of wicket-keeper Sulakhshana Naik (who had effected four stumpings on Sunday) she took the total to 147 in the next 12 overs before Naik was out for 14. In came Rupanjali Shastri and the two added another 67 runs at more than 3 runs per over to put Railways in command. Raj was unlucky to miss her century by a whisker. She hit eight fours in her 228-ball knock. On Saturday, in the third place play-off Andhra Pradesh defeated Karnataka.  Extras:
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