Bengal opener Arindam Das carried his bat through (unbeaten 98) but could not prevent hosts Mumbai from taking a handy 96-run first innings lead on the second day of the four-day Ranji Trophy Group A match on Sunday.
Arindam, who was not in the initial probables list of the Bengal squad, batted for nearly five hours but didn't get enough support from the other end as only skipper Manoj Tiwary crossed the 20-run mark with Bengal eventually bowled out for 201 in 65.4 overs.
Mumbai scored 297 in their first essay with all-rounder Laxmi Ratan Shukla ending up with five-wicket haul.
Playing his 71st first-class match, veteran opener Arindam faced 199 balls and hit 16 fours in the process.
Left-arm spinner Ankit Chavan had the best figures of four for 61. Mumbai were six for no loss in the second essay.
None of the other Bengal batsmen, barring skipper Tiwary, gave Das meaningful support as the Mumbai bowlers stuck to their task bowling relentlessly on a wicket affording good carry for the new ball bowlers and copious turn for Chavan, in particular.
Das and Tiwary put on 72 runs in 120 balls in 101 minutes, but once this third wicket partnership was broken by Chavan, who induced the rival skipper to drive on the up for a catch at mid-off, things went downhill from there, Bengal losing their last five wickets for just 51 runs in 18.2 overs.
The only other batsman apart from Das and Tiwary to reach double figures was Subomoy Das (19). He was dropped at second slip off Chavan but failed to capitalise and fell to the next ball, caught at first slip to leave Bengal at 132 for 5.
Bengal began the day well with Laxmi Ratan Shukla picking up the wicket of Ramesh Powar to end up with five wickets and left arm spinner Iresh Saxena adding two more to his tally for a final haul of four for 105.
But the visitors began in disastrous fashion when Arindam ran out his opening partner Rohan Banerjee.
Bengal, 16 for 1, lost No 3 batsman Writam Porel when he was caught at slip driving at Dhawal Kulkarni's away swinger to leave them at a difficult 20 for 2.
The repair work by Arindam Das and skipper Tiwary, with the latter playing some spanking straight drives, looked good when it lasted. The visiting team captain was lucky when Jaffer grassed him at 23 in the slips off Chavan in the latter's first over.
The Bengal captain celebrated by carting the bowler for a six and a four in successive balls before the latter exacted revenge with a fuller length ball that Tiwary spooned to mid off.
Tiwary's cameo came off 64 balls and contained five fours and a six. His departure came 48 minutes to tea and Bengal lost another wicket, that of Wridhiman Saha, before Arindam and Subhamoy Das carried the score to 128 at tea.
The post-tea period saw a dramatic collapse with Subomoy unable to cash in on the chance he got. Abhishek Jhunjunwala squared up to a peach of a ball from Avishkar Salvi to edge the bowler to the cordon behind.
Then Chavan and Kshemal Waingankar cut through the tail by bagging two wickets apiece to end the innings and leave Das stranded two short of a hundred.
Scoreboard on day two
Mumbai (1st innings): Overnight 262-7
W Jaffer c Jhunjhunwala b Shukla 80
K Pawar st Saha b Saxena 15
H Shah c Saha b Shukla 0
R Sharma c Saha b Shukla 1
A Nayar b Veerpratap Singh 62
A Tare c Tiwary b Saxena 38
A Chavan c Das b Shukla 35
D Kulkarni c Tiwary b Saxena 37
R Powar b Shukla 17
K Waingankar c Veerpratap Singh b Saxena 4
A Salvi not out 0
Extras: (lb 3, wb 1, nb 4) 8
Total: (in 90 overs) 297 for 7 wkts
Fall of wickets: 1-39, 2-40, 3-46, 4-150, 5-172, 6-228, 7-248, 8-293, 9-297
Bowling: Mohd Shami 26-9-76-0 Veerpratap Singh 25-9-66-1 Shukla 24.1-10-38-5 Saxena 29-5-105-4 Jhunjhunwala 1-0-9-0.
Bengal (1st innings):
R Banerjee run out 9
A Das batting 98
W Porel c Shah b Kulkarni 2
M Tiwary c Salvi b Chavan 39
W Saha c Pawar b Powar 0
S Das c Jaffer b Chavan 19
A Jhunjhunwala c Shah b Salvi 10
L R Shukla lbw Chavan 2
Veerpratap Singh c and b Chavan 2
Mohd Shami b Waingankar 2
I Saxena lbw Waingankar 0
Extras (b 4, lb 4, w 8, nb 2) 18
Total (in 65.4 overs) 201 all out
Fall of wickets: 1-16, 2-20, 3-92, 4-94, 5-132, 6-150, 7-153, 8-168, 9-193
Bowling: Kulkarni 15-1-57-1 Salvi 15-5-29-1 Waingankar 9.4-4-16-2 Powar 4-0-16-1 Chavan 19-4-61-4 Pawar 1-0-8-0
Mumbai (2nd innings):
W Jaffer batting 4
K Pawar batting 1
Extras (b 1) 1
Total (in 3 overs) 6 for no loss
Bowling: Veerpratap Singh 1-0-2-0 Shukla 1-0-2-0 Saxena 1-0-1-0.