Picking up wickets at regular intervals was the cornerstone of the Railways' bowling as they reduced Assam to 174 for 7 at the Karnail Singh Stadium on Wednesday.
Skipper Murali Kartik led by example, claiming four wickets and looked set for more success.
Winning the toss was the only highlight early in the day for the visitors as skipper Amol Muzumdar chose to bat.
The faith in his openers was ill-conceived as both Dheeraj Jadhav (9) and Perves Aziz (0) returned to the pavilion early.
It was left to the skipper and S Sriram, centurion against Tamil Nadu, to consolidate. A 54-run stand between the two laid a feeble foundation to the innings but Kartik had other plans.
A lacklustre shot from Sriram (31) brought the partnership to an end.
Muzumdar looked rock solid as he took 132 balls to reach 44. But a lapse in concentration saw leg-spinner Mirripuri Suresh dismiss him minutes before tea with the score on 106.
The final session saw Railways looking for wickets in earnest.
Despite ominous starts from Deepak Sharma (21) and Kunal Saikia (23), Kartik dismissed both to prevent a middle-order resurgence. Tarjinder Singh, who is batting on 34, remains the sole hope for Assam on the morrow as Railways will look to bat at the earliest.
Brief Scores: Assam 174 for 7 (A Muzumdar 44, T Singh batting 34; M Kartik 4/47).