Medium pacer P Vijaykumar came up with a five-wicket haul as Andhra Pradesh took a vital first innings lead over Bengal, who hit back by claiming the visitors' top order late on the second day of their Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match in Kolkata on Wednesday.
After taking a 23-run first innings lead, Andhra Pradesh batsmen found the Bengal seamers - especially Ranadeb Bose (4/54) - too hot to handle on a track affording superb movement to the bowlers and finished the day on 147/6 in their second knock.
Halfway into the match, Andhra are now 170 runs ahead of Bengal, paving the way for an exciting end to the tie, which still seems open.
Earlier, resuming their opening essay at the overnight score of 46/1, the hosts were all out for ninety-eight 112 minutes into the morning session, with only five of their batsmen managing double digit scores.
Vijay Kumar exploited the seam-friendly conditions to the hilt, as he maintained a tight line and length to gobble up one Bengal batsman after another. Tailender Ashok Dinda, who threw his bat around, top scored with 27.
As Andhra began their second innings, SS Paul got rid of Prashant Reddy (12), before the aggressive Hemant Watekar (67) and the cautious D Kalyankrishna (12) put on 41 runs for the second wicket to take the tourists to 88/1.
However, Ranadeb Bose then got into rhythm, and swung the ball both ways to quickly see the back of Kalyankrishna (12), Y Gnaneswara Rao (6), ASK Verma (6) and B Sumanth (1) during a six-over burst to reduce Andhra to 109/6.
But skipper MSK Prasad (26 batting) and AG Pradeep (16 not out) prevented any more collapse.
Andhra Pradesh (1st innings): 121 all out
Bengal (1st innings, overnight 46/1):
A Majumdar c Vijay Kumar b Raju 10
A Das lbw b Kalyankrishna 17
W Saha lbw b Vijay Kumar 19
P Mukherjee c Prasad b Vijay Kumar 0
M Tiwary b Vijay Kumar 0
L Shukla b Vijay Kumar 4
K Mondal b Gnaneswara Rao 11
R Chowdhary b Gnaneswara Rao 0
R Bose c Varma b Vijay Kumar 1
A Dinda c Reddy b Raju 27
SS Paul not out 7
Extras: (lb 1, nb 1) 2
Total: (all out in 45.2 overs) 98
Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-46, 3-46, 4-48, 5-48, 6-61, 7-63, 8-63, 9-72, 10-98
Bowling: D Kalyankrishna 12-3-27-1, P Vijay Kumar 16-5-31-5, I Raju 6.2-3-13-2, G Shankara Rao 2-0-9-0, Y Gnaneswara Rao 9-1-17-2
Andhra Pradesh (2nd innings):
H Watekar c Saha b Mukherjee 67
LNP Reddy c Saha b Paul 12
D Kalyankrishna lbw b Bose 12
Y Gnaneswara Rao c Dinda b Bose 6
ASK Varma c Saha b Bose 6
B Sumanth lbw b Bose 1
MSK Prasad batting 26
A Pradeep batting 16
Extras: (wd-1) 1
Total: (for 6 wickets in 50 overs) 147
Fall of wickets: 1-47, 2-88, 3-98, 4-104, 5-104, 6-109
Bowling: R Bose 19-5-54-4, SS Paul 14-6-24-1, A Dinda 8-2-33-0, R Chowdhary 3-1-19-0, P Mukherjee 6-2-17-1