The writing was on the wall and 70 minutes was all Saurashtra needed to run through the tail and win their elite Ranji Trophy match by 97 runs as Railways were dismissed for 149 in their second innings.
With their second outright victory this season, Saurashstra have 16 points in Group 'A' and have a good chance of making it to the knockout stage. Railways are out of contention.
The overnight pair of Marripuri Suresh and Ashish Yadav were separated quickly as Suresh went for a cut against medium-pacer Sandip Maniar and was held at gully by Sitanshu Kotak on the second attempt. Yadav added eight more to the overnight 42 to complete his half-century, but fell soon after as he was trapped in front by a Ravindra Jadeja delivery that kept low.
The tail-enders, Krishnakant Upadhyay and Nilesh Chauhan, failed to offer resistance as Jadeja dismissed them in similar fashion - caught at slip by Cheteshwar Pujara. With his six wickets in the first innings, Jadeja finished with a match haul of 10 for 75.
Saurashtra are now vying with Uttar Pradesh for a place in the quarterfinal and are tied on 16 points with Rajasthan who beat Orissa after the latter are followed on. The defending champions also won with a bonus point and have a better run quotient than Saurashtra. UP's game against Karnataka hangs in balance, but since the former have the first innings lead they will also finish with at least 16 points.
Aware of the equation, Saurashtra coach, Debu Mitra, is hopeful. "Both of us can qualify if UP don't win," he said.
Railways coach, Abhay Sharma, said apart from this match, his side competed well. "We are in a group where six of the eight teams have won the Ranji Trophy in the last 10 years. But for this game we played hard cricket," he said.