Ranji Trophy 2018-19, Group A, round 5: Rawat helps Railways strengthen grip over Gujarat

Captain Mahesh Rawat came to the party and scored his 14th First-Class century to help Railways declare their first innings on 547 for 9 against Gujarat. Rawat remained unbeaten on 119 and was aided by vital contributions from Railways lower order, including a half-century from allrounder Avinash Yadav. Gujarat, in their second innings, were 4-0, trailing by 176 runs at stumps on Day 3 in Valsad.

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Centurion Nitin Bhille could add just seven more to his overnight score of 109 before giving Gujarat their first breakthrough of the day. But his partner Arindam Ghosh continued to bat positively but missed out on his century by seven runs. Hardik Patel was the wicket-taker on both occasions. In between Roosh Kalaria and Arzan Nagaswalla took care of Harsh Tyagi and Anureet Singh but just when it seemed that Gujarat would be able to limit the lead to a minimum, Rawat and Yadav came together for a 117-run stand to swell Railways lead to over 150.

The partnership was broken by Patel, who removed Yadav for 50 for this third wicket. Amit Mishra contributed 20 before he was snared by Rujul Bhatt. Securing a lead of 180, Rawat decided to call off the innings, ensuring that Railways secured three points, if not six.

Brief Score: Gujarat 4/0 and 367 all out, trail Railways 547 for 9 (Mahesh Rawat 119, Arindam Ghosh 93; Hardik Patel 3 for 134) by 176 runs.