Ranji Trophy 2013-14: Pankaj Singh stars as Rajasthan dominate Railways on Day 1

Pankaj Singh bagged three for 69 © Getty images (File Photo)

Jaipur: Nov 21, 2013

Rajasthan had Railways on the mat as they rode on Pankaj Singh’s three-wicket haul to reduce the visitors to 223 for seven on the opening day of their Group B Ranji Trophy match on Thursday.

Shivakant Shukla (54) and Nitin Bhille (60) were the only batsmen to make significant contributions as Railways crumbled in face of a disciplined collective effort by the home bowlers.

At stumps, wicketkeeper Mahesh Rawat (27) and Anureet Singh (4) were holding fort for the visiting side.

Railways were dealt an early blow when opener V Cheluvaraj became Pankaj’s first victim after making just five runs.

But the Railways settled down after that with Shukla and Bhille combining to add 117 runs for the second wicket. While Shukla’s knock came off 168 deliveries, Bhille was equally patient in his 177-ball stint at the crease.

Bhille was the first to go when Deepak Chahar had him caught by Robin Bist. Bhille struck seven fours during the course of his stay at the crease.

Shukla departed in the next over, trapped leg-before by Pankaj after a knock which was studded with eight hits to the fence.

None of the batsmen who came after them could emulate their patience with Amit Paunikar (26) and skipper Murali Kartik (30) being the only notable exceptions.

For Rajasthan, Pankaj wrapped the day with impressive figures of three for 69 in 24 overs.

Brief scores:

Railways 223 for 7 (Shivakant Shukla 54, Nitin Bhille 60, Pankaj Singh 3 for 69) vs Rajasthan.