Despite three half-centuries being scored, Rajasthan's [ Images ] bowlers emerged on top, having reduced Baroda to 324 for eight by the end of the third day's play in the Ranji Trophy Super League final in Vadodara on Thursday.
At stumps, in the five-day match, Baroda still trail by 70 runs, in reply to the visitor's 394.
Vivek Yadav (4/73) and Deepak Chahar (3/72) forced the Baroda batsmen into commiting mistakes as they maintained a tight line and length, at the Moti Bagh stadium.
Even as Jaykishan Kolsawala (64), Aditya Waghmore (52) and skipper Pinal Shah (77) chipped in with crucial runs, Baroda lost wickets at regular intervals, which forced them on the backfoot.
Resuming at the overnight score of 73 for 1, Kolsawala, and Kedar Devdhar started on a positive note but runs soon dried up when Yadav came into the attack.
In his first seven overs, Yadav just conceded nine runs and dismissed both the overnight batsmen, Kolsawala and Devdhar, in quick succession, leaving Baroda suddenly reeling at 113 for 3 from a comfortable 110 for 1.
Kolsawala was Yadav's first victim of the day. The spinner saw him off after a well-made 64 off 151 balls, which was studded with 12 fours. He then sent Devdhar back for 19.
New batsmen in Waghmore and Ambati Rayudu (19) tried to steady the boat for a while, but the latter, who though started off well by hitting two fine cover-drives, failed to sustain and his stay at the crease was cut short by Chahar.
However, skipper Shah, in the able company of Waghmore, fought back hard. The duo kept on picking quick singles, besides punishing the loose deliveries to keep the scoreboard moving.
Riding on some sensible batting, the duo stitched a valuable 90-run stand before Waghmore, soon after reaching his half-century, fell victim to Yadav, brilliantly caught by Rajasthan captain Hrishikesh Kanitkar.
Waghmore's dismissal on 52 (131, 7x4) with the Baroda scorecard reading 226 for five, left Shah in the company of the tailenders to overcome a huge first innings total.
Swapnil Singh (17) continued for a while but Pankaj Singh saw him off, and then Chahar was quick to dismiss Abhijit Karambelkar for a duck before getting the prized wicket of Shah, trapping him leg before.
But just when it seemed it was all over for Baroda at 288 for eight, Sankalp Vohra and Murtuja Vahora showed character as they shared an unbeaten 36-run stand for the ninth-wicket before stumps were drawn for the day.
At end of day three, Vohra was batting on 16 while Vahora was on 21. But Rajasthan require just two wickets to take the first innings lead, which could well give them the trophy.
Rajasthan (1st innings): overnight 198-3
A Chopra lbw b Bhatt 34
V Saxena run out 31
H Kanitkar c Williams b Waghmode 61
R Bist b Bhatt 77
Vivek Yadav lbw b Bhatt 27
R Parida b Bhatt 56
A Menaria c Devdhar b Bhatt 45
R Jhalani b Vohra 9
D Chahar b Swapnil 8
Pankaj Singh b Swapnil 6
M Khatri not out 0
Extras: (B-13, LB-14, W-13) 40
Total: (in 147.1 overs) 394
Fall of wickets: 1-67, 2-73, 3-190, 4-240, 5-269, 6-346, 7-369, 8-384, 9-394.
Bowling: M Vahora 36-5-108-0, S Vohra 26-9-57-1, B Bhatt 42.1-14-103-5, A Karambelkar 8-4-12-0, Swapnil Singh 21-4-54-2, A Waghmode 14-3-33-1.
Baroda (1st innings): (overnight 73 for one)
C Williams c Chopra b Vivek 17
J Kolsawala c Jhalani b Vivek Yadav 64
K Devdhar b Vivek Yadav 19
AA Waghmode c Kanitkar b Vivek Yadav 52
AT Rayudu lbw b Chahar 12
PR Shah lbw b Chahar 77
Swapnil Singh c Saxena b Pankaj Singh 17
AS Karambelkar c Chopra b Chahar 0
SD Vohra not out 16
MY Vahora not out 21
Extras: (B-25, LB-3, W-1) 29
Total: (for eight wkts in 120 overs) 324
Fall of wickets: 1-63, 2-110, 3-113, 4-136, 5-226, 6-266, 7-269, 8-288.
Bowling: Pankaj Singh 25-5-66-1, D Chahar 22-5-72-3, M Khatri 37-10-76-0, Vivek Yadav 34-10-73-4, A Menaria 2-1-9-0.