Wasim Jaffer scored a masterful 103 not out to help holders Mumbai reach 184 for three on the third day of the Ranji Trophy Super League match against Orissa at the Brabourne Stadium on Thursday.
The Mumbai captain's knock included 13 boundaries. He was involved in a 175-run third wicket partnership with Prashant Naik (67) after Orissa's seamers had sent both the Mumbai openers back to the pavilion.
Veteran Debashis Mohanty accounted for Sushanth Marathe (6) in the day's third over and Basanth Mohanty trapped Sahil Kukreja (1) in the next to reduce the holders to seven for two before the Jaffer-Naik combine started the rebuilding process.
After rain had washed out two full days, play was finally possible on day three.
Even though a result seems impossible, Jaffer was hopeful nonetheless.
"We will try and push for the first innings lead so that we can get at least three points," said Jaffer at the end of the day's play.
"We will look for a good total of around 270-280 and then try to bowl around 70-75 overs," he added.Delhi face defeat despite Dhawan's ton
Shikhar Dhawan's painstaking century may not be enough for Delhi to avert defeat in the Ranji Trophy Super League Group B match against Karnataka in New Delhi.
At close on Thursday, Day 3, a depleted Delhi had crawled to 255 for nine in their second innings. Having already conceded a first innings lead of a 106 runs, Delhi have a 149-run overall lead with just one wicket in hand and a full day remaining.
Dhawan's five-hour vigil at the crease came to a sad end when he ran himself out in the 69th over.
Apart from the left-hander, Rajat Bhatia hit a gritty 64, while Abhishek Sharma contributed 34 runs down the order.
For Karnataka, Sreenath Aravind (4 for 39) and R Vinay Kumar (3 for 58) did the bulk of the damage.
Resuming at 93 for two, Dhawan and Bhatia continued the grim fight against Karnataka. In conditions benign for the seamers, the Delhi duo stuck to their task of grinding it out, while punishing the occasional loose balls.
Both Dhawan and Bhatia crossed the half-century mark and were looking good when Aravind earned the breakthrough for Karnataka, sneaking one through Bhatia's defence.
Aravind came up with a three-wicket burst that not only ended the 135-run stand between Dhawan and Bhatia but also rocked Delhi to the core.
Debutant Bhalla's ton propels Punjab
Mohali: Vishwas Bhalla scored a century on debut and forged an unbeaten 99-run stand for the 10th wicket with Love Ablish as Punjab stretched their lead to 335 runs on the penultimate day of the Ranji Trophy Super League Group A match against Hyderabad on Thursday.
Punjab, who had already taken a crucial 28-run first innings lead, rode on Bhalla's (116) unbeaten century, Pankaj Dharmani's 50 and Ablish's gritty unbeaten 30 to reach 307 for nine at stumps.
Resuming their second innings at 59 for three, Punjab lost overnight batsman Taruwar Kohli (18) early and Ankur Kakkar (7) did not last long either.
Bhalla joined Dharmani in the middle and steadied the ship, playing sensible cricket.
Skipper Karthik helps TN grab lead
Ahmedabad: Riding on half-centuries from skipper Dinesh Karthik (77) and S Badrinath (50), Tamil Nadu took a crucial 14-run first innings lead against Gujarat in their four-day Ranji Trophy match that is heading for a draw.
Karthik was still at the crease in the company of C Ganapthy (14) as Tamil Nadu reached 357 for six at draw of stumps on day three of the Group A match.
Resuming on a strong position of 198 for two, the hosts were powered by some strong middle-order batting even as Murali Vijay (95) missed out on a well-deserved century.
Gujarat's bowlers were in for a tough time as Badrinath played extremely well with his skipper and the pair added 76 runs for the fourth wicket until Niraj Patel broke the partnership by dismissing Badrinath.
Ganguly's 50 in vain as Baroda take lead
Kolkata: Sourav Ganguly (76) and Laxmi Ratan Shukla (69) hit half-centuries to guide Bengal to 293, but could not prevent Baroda from taking a crucial 14-run first innings lead on the third day of Ranji Trophy Super League Group B match.
Resuming at 102 for three, Bengal rode on Ganguly's brisk 97-ball innings, which included 14 boundaries, but after he was dismissed by Irfan Pathan in the 62nd over, Shukla maintained the momentum.
The Bengal all-rounder clobbered nine boundaries and cleared the ropes twice in his 107-ball innings.
For Boroda, Murtuja Vahora scalped four wickets, while Pathan bagged three. Swapnil Singh and Yusuf Pathan chipped in with two and one wicket respectively.
With a 14-run lead in the first innings, Baroda then scored 58 for one, with Satyajit Parab (41) doing bulk of the scoring.
R P Singh, Srivastava bag four wickets each
Rajkot: India discard R P Singh and Shalabh Srivastava shared eight wickets between them to help Uttar Pradesh reach a commanding position against Saurashtra on day three of their Ranji Trophy Super League match.
The visitors shot out Saurashtra for 267, taking a good 28-run first innings lead, d then scored 72 for three in their second innings for an overall lead of 200.
Uttar Pradesh opener Shivakant Shukla (33) and Parvinder Singh (0) were at the crease at the end of the day's play.
The left-arm pace duo of R P Singh (4/83) and Srivastava (4/75) did all the damage with their fiery spells while Sitanshu Kotak (75) and Pratik Mehta (69) did well for the hosts.
At one stage Saurashtra were in a good position but once Kotak and Mehta departed, the hosts lost their way and folded in 108.3 overs.
Mehta was trapped by Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the 78th over, while Kotak, who hit nine fours in his 213-ball innings, was dismissed by Singh in the 81st over, caught by Amir Khan.
For Saurashtra, Sandeep Maniar, Rakesh Dhurv and Vishal Joshi scalped a wicket each.
Bad light truncates play, Railways hope for 1st innings lead
New Delhi: Railways were left to pray for a sunny day on Friday after bad light truncated the third day's play in their Ranji Trophy Super League Group A match against Himachal Pradesh on Thursday.
Only 45 overs could be squeezed in between a delayed start and a premature stumps and Himachal, resuming on 34 for no loss, were 125 for two when stumps were drawn.
Paras Dogra (35) and Vinit Indulkar (16) were in the middle at stumps as Himachal trailed Railways by 294 runs with eight wickets in hand.
Having posted 419 runs in their first innings, Railways were hoping to run through the Himachal batting line-up and get that crucial first innings lead before exploring the possibility of an outright win. The foggy weather though meant it was not to be.
Play eventually begun at around 1100 hrs and even though home side captain Murali Kartik removed Bhavin Thakkar (20) in the seventh over of the day, the other overnight batsman Sangram Singh and Dogra went about the job without any fuss.
They negated the Railways spinners, both frontline and part-timers, with aplomb, adding 60 runs before Sangram fell to Karan Sharma, trying to hit the leggie out of the ground and getting stumped in the 52nd over.
Indulkar, who left Mumbai to join HP, then partnered Dogra and the duo saw off the remaining 13 overs before bad light dropped early curtains on the proceedings.