Yogesh Takawale scored a maiden first class hundred and put on a century stand with Kedar Jadhav as Maharahstra motored to an imposing 451 in the first innings against Mumbai on the second day of their Elite Division Group 'A' Ranji Trophy in Mumbai on Sunday.
Takawale, playing his 11th Ranji tie in his second season, scored a patient and confident 126, inclusive of 13 fours and a six, besides adding 146 runs for the sixth wicket with Jadhav (81, with 10 fours) as the visitors set the defending champions a stiff challenge.
In reply, Mumbai made 113 for two in 38 overs at stumps with opener Ajinkya Rahane (65) and skipper Amol Muzumdar (23) unconquered after a third wicket partnership worth 36 runs.
Maharashta, who resumed at the overnight 308 for five, did not lose a wicket in the first session while increasing their tally by 95 runs in 34 overs.
They then suffered a dramatic collapse, losing the last five wickets for 48 runs.
The wrecker-in-chief was medium pacer Abhishek Nair, who finished with five for 100 - including wickets on successive balls.
The batsmen dismissed in the Mumbai innings reply were opener Sahil Kukreja (18), who scored 199 against Delhi in their previous tie, and one-down Prashant Naik, for a duck.
At close the 37-time champions were adrift by 338 runs on Wankhede Stadium wicket that looked still good for batting after two full days' play.
Takawale and Jadhav, overnight 83 and 21 respectively, batted sedately in the opening session against a Mumbai attack that missed Avishkar Salvi due to a back spasm.
Ajit Agarkar bowled economically but hardly made the batsmen play in his spell while debutant Murtuza Hussain, Ramesh Powar and Nair also could not snap the stand.
However, 20 minutes after lunch, Nair effected the breakthrough when Jadhav slashed at his away going ball and edged to second slip where Kukreja accepted the catch over his head.
This galvanised the Mumbai attack and Agarkar trapped Takawale leg before and then Nair dismissed Salil Agharkar and Samad Fallah off successive balls in his next over to leave Maharashtra at 428 for nine from 418 for six in just 24 balls.
The last wicket pair of Sairaj Bahutule and Wahid Sayyed prolonged the innings for half an hour before the former became Nair's fifth victim by pulling the bowler to deep midwicket fielder Rahane.
Mumbai, in reply, began confidently with Kukreja and Rahane, who flopped in the previous tie, putting on 71 before the former edged Sayyed to 'keeper Vishant More.
The pint-sized Maharashtra stumper then caught Naik off Fallah's outgoing ball to leave the hosts at 77 for 2.
Rahane, batting confidently in his 120-ball innings in which he has struck seven fours and two sixes, and Muzumdar prevented further damage to Mumbai's cause before close.
Maharashtra (1st innings) (overnight 308-5):
V More b Hussain 24
H Khadiwale c Kukreja b Hussain 42
H Kanitkar lbw Nair 18
Y Venugopal Rao lbw Salvi 27
Y Takawale lbw Agarkar 126
V Bilhare c R Sharma b Agarkar 78
K Jadhav c Kukreja b Nair 81
S Bahutule c Rahane b Nair 17
S Agharkar lbw Nair 2
S Fallah b Nair 0
W Sayyed not out 5
Extras: (b-15, lb-7, w-5, nb-4) 31
Total: (all out in 138.3 overs) 451
Fall of wickets: 1-34, 2-85, 3-95, 4-142, 5-272, 6-418, 7-425, 8-428, 9-428
Bowling: Agarkar 31-6-86-2, Salvi 16-3-52-1, Hussain 31-4-89-2, Nair 33.3-8-100-5, Powar 25-4-89-0, R Sharma 2-0-13-0.
Mumbai (1st innings):
S Kukreja c More b Sayyed 18
A Rahane batting 65
P Naik c More b Fallah 0
A Muzumdar batting 23
Extras: (nb-7) 7
Total: (for 2 wkts in 38 overs) 113
Fall of wickets: 1-71, 2-77
Bowling: Sayyed 11-1-38-1, Fallah 12-2-47-1, Bahutule 10-3-20-0, Agharkar 1-0-1-0, Khadiwale 4-1-7-0.