Dhiraj Goswami is looking for a job at the Railways and the Assam seamer chose to jolt his prospective employer at the Karnail Singh Stadium to make an early impression. He scalped four key Railway batsmen to leave the home team struggling at 164 for eight on the second day of the Ranji Trophy super league match on Thursday.
Now in his seventh season, Goswami (4/43) bowled splendidly to keep his team in the fray after Assam, resuming at 174 for seven, was all out for 187. “I just aimed at bowling a decent line because there was no room for experiments. We were defending a modest total,” said Goswami, who pouched V. Chelluveraj, T.P. Singh, Yere Goud and M. Suresh to set up a close race for the first innings honours.
It was a familiar situation for Railways. It has been so for some time now. The bowlers did their job but the batsmen, with the exception of T.P. Singh and J.P. Yadav, faltered. The lack of application in the Railway ranks was disturbing and nullified all the work done with the ball by Murali Kartik and Sanjay Bangar.
With Goswami and Ranjit Mali (2/31) slicing through the top order it was left to T.P. Singh (41 off 91 balls) and M. Suresh (16 off 72 balls) to stem the collapse. The day ended with Yadav (30 off 67 balls) carrying Railways' hopes of clinching the first innings lead
Assam — 1st innings: D. Jadhav lbw b Bangar 9, P. Aziz c M. Rawat b Yadav 0, S. Sriram c Goud b Kartik 31, A. Muzumdar c T.P. Singh b Suresh 44, D. Sharma lbw b Kartik 21, Tarjinder Singh lbw b Bangar 43, K, Saikia c Cheluveraj b Kartik 23, D. Goswami st Rawat b Kartik 1, A. Konwar b Upadhyay 6, R. Mali (not out) 4, P. Bhagat lbw b Bangar 0, Extras (lb-1, nb-3, w-1) 5, Total (in 101.4 overs) 187.
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-15, 3-69, 4-106, 5-118, 6-161, 7-163, 8-182, 9-187.
Railways bowling: J.P. Yadav 20-7-36-1, S. Bangar 18.4-9-21-3, M. Kartik 35-13-56-4, K.K. Upadhyay 7-1-16-1, K. Parida 9-0-37-0, M. Suresh 12-6-20-1.
Railways — 1st innings: F. Fazal c Aziz b Mali 4, V. Cheluveraj b Goswami 2, S. Bangar c Saikia b Bhagat 15, T. P. Singh c Saikia b Goswami 41, Y. Goud c Saikia b Goswami 4, M. Rawat c Saikia b Mali 18, M. Sures b Goswami 16, J. P. Yadav (batting) 30, M. Kartik b Konwar 17, K. Parida (batting) 3, Extras (b-4, lb-5, nb-5) 14, Total (for eight wkts. in 76 overs) 164.
Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-28, 3-28, 4-33, 5-71, 6-114, 7-116, 8-145.
Assam bowling: Mali 15-3-31-2, Goswami 21-7-43-4, Bhagat 12-3-37-1, Konwar 20-9-28-1, T. Singh 5-1-9-0, Sriram 3-1-7-0 .