Spinners Ramesh Powar and Nilesh Kulkarni struck telling blows at the fag end of the second day's play to leave Gujarat gasping at 118 for 5 in reply to Mumbai's 503 for 7 declared at close in of the four-day Ranji Trophy Elite division match at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday.
At stumps, opener Nilesh Modi was unbeaten on 34, with Gujarat still needing 236 runs to avoid the follow-on.
Earlier, 36-times champions Mumbai, desperately needing points from this game to avoid relegation, after drawing a blank in the first three matches, resumed at the overnight score of 283 for five and were guided towards their mammoth total of 503 for seven declared by overnight batsmen Rohit Sharma, who cracked a superb double century, and Abhishek Nair, who fell short of his maiden 100 by just three runs.
The two put on 213 runs for the sixth wicket to frustrate Gujarat.
Sharma was finally dismissed for 205, caught at mid-on by Amit Singh off the bowling of Ashraf Makda. Then Nair fell three runs short of his hundred, caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel off Makda for 97.
Ramesh Powar then used the long handle to good effect, scoring a 12-ball 22, inclusive of four fours and a six, to push the Mumbai total past 500.
Gujarat, in reply, began on a disastrous note when opener Timil Patel was dismissed by Swapnil Hazare for just six runs, caught at second slip by Vinayak Mane with the team's total reading 12.
However, Neeraj Patel showed the class that he has as he went for the Mumbai attack hammer and tongs. With Nilesh Modi, who was solid as a rock at the other, he put on 93 runs for the second wicket in quick time. Neeraj scored a superb attacking 62 in just 91 balls with as many as 12 boundaries before he was caught behind trying to cut Ramesh Powar.
Gujarat were then 105 for two.
This opened the floodgates for the Mumbai spinners, as Parthiv Patel was snapped up at first slip by Amol Muzumdar for just 9 and then in the last over of the day Nilesh Kulkarni sent back Amit Singh and Bhavik Thakkar to leave Gujarat with a mammoth task ahead of them on day three.
Mumbai (1st innings) (overnight 283-5):
S Kukreja c Modi b Makla 58
V Mane c Amit Singh 33
B Thakkar b Makla 10
A Muzumdar run out 52
R Sharma c Amit Singh b Makda 205
W Mota c Modi b Timil Patel 9
A Nair c Parthiv Patel b Makda 97
R Powar not out 22
V Samant not out 1
Extras: (b 1, lb 1, w 1 nb 13) 16
Total: (for 7 wkts decl. in 136 overs) 503
Fall of wickets: 1-52, 2-82, 3-123, 4-221, 5-263, 6-476, 7-483.
Bowling: Ashraf Makda 27-8-72-2, Hitesh Majmudar 33-2-119-0, Amit Singh 23-2-96-1, Timil Patel 21-0-99-1, Jayesh Makla 31-4-112-2, Niraj Patel 1-0-3-0.
Gujarat (1st innings):
N Modi batting 34
T Patel c Mane b Hazare 6
N Patel c Samant b Powar 62
P Patel c Muzumdar b Powar 9
Amit Singh lbw Kulkarni 0
B Thaker c and b Kulkarni 0
Extras: (w -7) 7
Total: (for 5 wkts, in 38.3 overs) 118
Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-105, 3-117, 4-118, 5-118
Bowling: Hazare 9-0-37-1, Mota 8-2-20-0, Powar 13-4-30-2, Nair 3-1-10-0, Kulkarni 5.3-0-21-2.