Railways fighting for first innings lead

Published: Friday, November 26, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Railways made heavy weather of a simple chase and found themselves precariously placed at 147 for five against Delhi on the second day of the Ranji Trophy Elite A cricket league match at the Jamia Millia Islamia University grounds here today.

After wasting little time to wrap up the Delhi lower order for a modest first innings score of 216 in the morning, Railways fell back on a defensive game plan and allowed the rivals to dictate terms.

The 2001-02 champions were still 69 runs in arrears with Siddharth Verma on 16 and Yere Goud on eight at the crease.

It looked as if the loss of captain Sanjay Bangar in the second over proved to be a crucial blow to the Railways. Not that the India all-rounder contributed mightily with the bat in the previous two matches, falling in the first and fourth over of the two innings against Bengal last week.

But Amit Pagnis and Tejinder Pal Singh, both left-handers, displayed excessive caution as they added 67 runs in 32 overs before the latter returned a straightforward catch to Rahul Sanghvi.

Tejinder's stay spanned more than two hours during which he faced 95 balls and hit two fours for his 23.

Pagnis then was run out for 49, having faced 127 balls in a near three-hour knock, plunging the 'visitors' into further trouble.

Soon, it was 99 for four when Sanghvi took another return catch to dismiss Raja Ali (16).

J P Yadav then provided the inspiration the team needed with a 26-ball 23 before falling leg before to Amit Bhandari.

Verma and Goud had added 21 runs for the unbroken sixth wicket by close and kept Railways' hopes of a first innings lead alive.

Earlier, Resuming at 179 for six, Delhi were all out in 14th over of the day.

Ajay Jadeja, 74 overnight, remained unbeaten on 87 while Yadav picked up the last two wickets.

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