Rituraj Singh took a four-wicket haul to help Rajasthan take a slender 35-run lead over Hyderabad after bundling them out for 349 on the third and penultimate day of their Ranji Trophy Group A tie in Jaipur on Monday.
Rajasthan, who had scored 384 in their first innings, reached 103 for two in their second essay at stumps on day three with Vineet Saxena not out on 54 and Rituraj on 10.
With the match heading towards a draw in all probability, neither of the teams have a chance of making the knockout stage. In fact, even an outright win would not have been enough as both Hyderabad and the defending champions are languishing at the bottom of the table with nine and eight points, respectively.
Resuming the day on 160 for 5, Hyderabad batsmen fought hard but could not topple the hosts' first innings total.
Apart from Rituraj claiming four for 86, Aniket Choudhary (2/57) and Pankaj Singh (2/95) chipped in two wickets each.
The overnight batsman Parth Jhala, after starting on 5, showed a lot of character to score an unbeaten 75, his partner, who resumed on 0, failed to add any more runs.
Jhala, however, found an able company in A Ashish Reddy and the duo put on 107 runs for the seventh wicket.
Ashish fell for a well-made 62 off 84 balls studded with 10 fours and a six, but Jhala continued with Amol Shinde (33) and together they shared a 54-run stand for the eighth wicket.
But after Shinde's dismissal, the last two batsmen fell in quick succession, leaving Jhala stranded at 166-ball 75 that included eight hits to the fence.
Rajasthan, in their second innings, lost Sourabh Chouhan (1) early but Saxena and Robin Bist (30) helped the team extend their lead. When the stumps were drawn, Rajasthan were leading by 138 runs with eight wickets in hand.
Hyderabad: 349 all out in 96.5 overs (Parth Jhala not out 75, A Ashish Reddy 62; Rituraj Singh 4/86).
Rajasthan: 384 & 103 for two in 35 overs (Vineet Saxena batting 54; A Ashish Reddy 1/23).