A brilliant unbeaten century by Ramesh Powar (102 batting) and his 185-run partnership for the seventh wicket with Ajit Agarkar (95) kept Mumbai in the game against Maharashtra on the penultimate day of the four-day Ranji Trophy Elite Division Group 'A' match at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Monday.
At close of play on the third day, Mumbai replying to Maharashtra's first inning's score of 451 had reached 390 for seven, still 62 runs short of getting the crucial first innings lead.
At close, Ramesh Powar was batting on 102 and Vinayak Samant was giving him company on zero.
Mumbai resumed their innings from 113 for two with Ajinkya Rahane and Amol Muzumdar needing to put up a good partnership to take Mumbai closer to the first inning's score of Maharashtra.
However, after adding just seven runs to his overnight 65, Rahane fell to left arm seamer S Fallah for 72 runs being caught by S Agharkar in the outfield. Rahane made his runs in a stay of 146 balls and was inclusive of seven boundaries and two sixes with Mumbai on 132 for 3.
Muzumdar duly completed his 50 and after adding 33 runs with Rohit Sharma edged a delivery from Harshad Khadiwale to leave Mumbai on 165 for four. Muzumdar's 50 was inclusive of seven boundaries.
Khadiwale then struck two more telling blows getting Rohit Sharma for 31 and Abhisekh Nayar for 6 to leave Mumbai in tatters at 197 for six.
However, Ramesh Powar and Ajit Agarkar then joined hands and slowly but surely took Mumbai closer to Maharashtra's first inning's score.
After getting their eye in, both the batsmen took the attack to the bowlers as they hit them to all parts of the ground.
However, just before the close of play, after the two had put on 185 runs in 65 overs, Ajit Agarkar fell to spinner S Agharkar being caught in the deep by S Fallah just five runs short of his century.
His 95 came in 203 balls and included 12 boundaries and two sixes to leave Mumbai at 382 for seven.
Vinayak Samant then joined Powar and the two took Mumbai to close without any further loss, with Powar being unbeaten on 102 which had come in 214 balls and was inclusive of nine boundaries and three sixes.
Mumbai would be looking to these two to safely negotiate the team past Maharashtra's first inning's score and with it the three points for the first innings lead.
Maharashtra (1st innings): 451
Mumbai (1st innings): (Overnight 113 for 2)
S Kukreja c V More b W Sayyed 18
A Rahane c S Agharkar b S Fallah 72
P Naik c V More b S Fallah 0
A Muzumdar c V More b H Khadiwale 50
R Sharma lbw b H Khadiwale 31
A Nayar c V More b H Khadiwale 6
A Agarkar c S Fallah b S Agharkar 95
R Powar not out 102
V Samant not out 0
Extras: (b 3, lb 4, nb 9) 16
Total: (7 wickets, 128 overs) 390
Fall of wickets: 1-71, 2-77, 3-132, 4-165, 5-183, 6-197, 7-382
Bowling: W Sayyed 29-3-90-1, S Fallah 28-3-106-2, S Bahutule 34-8-102-0, S Agharkar 16-3-34-1, H Khadiwale 19-4-37-3, Venugopal Rao 2-0-14-0