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Bottom-placed Railways, desperate for a win after a draw and a loss in their previous two games, began their Ranji Trophy 2018-19 Round 3 Elite Group A match on the right note, leaving Chhattisgarh five down at 222 when stumps were drawn on the first day at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium in Raipur on Tuesday.

The architect of the Chhattisgarh’s downfall was Manjeet Chaudhary, who claimed three wickets in his 17 overs at a stingy economy rate of 3.82.

Put into bat, Chhattisgarh, just a rung above their opponents at eighth spot with two points in Group A, lost their first wicket in the first half of the day when Chaudhary had Rishabh Tiwari caught by Harsh Tyagi for 14. Sahil Gupta followed his partner 11 overs later after adding 29 before he was caught by Arindham Ghosh off Karan Thakur.

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Chhattisgarh were 60/2 when both openers were back in the hut. Sanjeet Desai and captain Harpreet Singh Bhatia stitched a 45-run partnership but failed to capitalise with Chaudhary claiming his second wicket in Desai (20 off 76), who was caught by Nitin Bhille. Bhatia went on to score his 18th first-class half century, but departed to Chaudhary after scoring a well-played 121-ball 79, that was decorated with nine boundaries.

Manoj Singh added just one after Thakur snapped his second to leave Chhattisgarh reeling at 222/5 at the end of day one. Amandeep Khare was unbeaten on 37, while Vishal Singh was 32*.

Brief scores: Chhattisgarh 222/5 (Harpreet Singh Bhatia 79; Manjeet Chaudhary 3/65) versus Railways