Manish Pandey stamped his class by hitting a sparkling century as Karnataka took a firm grip of their Group A Ranji match against Punjab with a 193-run first innings lead with three wickets remaining.
Pandey stole the show with his 161 as the hosts, who began on overnight score of 59 for two, reached a comfortable 367 for seven at close of the second day's play, in reply to Punjab's first innings total of 174.
Lokesh Rahul was the other batting hero of the day as he hit a crucial 92, besides combining with Pandey to stabilise Karnataka's innings.
With two wickets falling for just 40 runs on board on Saturday, Pandey along with in-form Rahul added 149 runs for the third wicket to give Karnataka a chance to register an outright victory.
Pandey cracked 15 fours and three sixes, while spending six-and-a-half hours on the crease, facing 266 balls. He had been getting runs, but was failing to covert those into big scores. So, this innings would have certainly given him loads of confidence.
At stumps, captain R Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun were batting on 29 and eight, respectively.
Punjab: 174 all out
Karnataka: 367 for seven (Manish Pandey 161, Lokesh Rahul 92; Manpreet Gony 3-70).
Mumbai take upper hand on day two
In another match, Mumbai's Hiken Shah slammed a career best 170 before the team's bowlers ruffled Odisha's top order on the second day of their Group A clash at the Wankhede Stadium.
In reply to Mumbai's mammoth 501 for nine declared, the visitors were straightaway pushed on to the back foot by the pacers to be left reeling at 79 for three at stumps on day two.
After pacer Javed Khan dismissed opener Girjia Rout (4) and Niranjan Behera (0) to reduce Odisha to 16 for two in seven overs, the visitors found themselves in a deeper hole at 36 for three in the 13th over when Govind Podder (2) was caught behind by Shardul Thakur, while skipper Biplab Samantray retired hurt two balls later after being hit on the head by a beamer.
Opener Natraj Behera (45) and Abhilash Mallick (28) were at the crease at the close of play, having put on an unbroken 43-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Odisha are still trailing Mumbai by 422 runs.
Earlier in the day, Mumbai lost overnight batsman in captain Jaffer, who added only 18 runs to his last night's score of 125. Jaffer had stitched a 222-run stand with Shah for the third wicket before being dismissed by Deepak Behera.
Shah, resuming on 67 in a team total of 242 for two, showed intent as he slammed his career-best 170 and carted the Odisha bowlers for 13 additional fours and three sixes before being trapped leg before by left arm spinner Dhiraj Singh in the third over after lunch.
Mumbai: 501 for nine dec (Wasim Jaffer 143, Hiken Shah 170; Basant Mohanty 3-73, Dhiraj Singh 3-117)
Odisha: 79 for three (Natraj Behera not out 45; Javed Khan 2-7)
Brilliant Shukla keeps Bengal in hunt for outright win
Bengal captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla again showed why he is head and shoulders above his teammates as a superb century that helped Bengal take first innings lead as well as eye for their maiden outright win of the season.
Riding on Shukla's superlative 117 off 119 deliveries with 16 fours and three sixes, Bengal scored 284 in their first innings to take a 72-run lead. The hosts then pegged UP back to 50 for three with Ashoke Dinda taking two wickets including one that saw Mohammed Kaif's stumps go for a walk.
UP are 22 runs behind and have seven wickets in hand.
Resuming the day at 26 for two, Bengal were reduced to 50 for four this morning in reply to UP's 212 but the skipper arrival once again turned it around for Bengal.
Continuing his purple patch, Shukla counter-attacked the UP bowlers to give Bengal a crucial 72-run first innings lead. For the Bengal skipper, it was his second century this season, and eighth overall, besides a 95 not out in the previous match against Railways.
India discard Rudra Pratap Singh (five for 77) picked his first five-wicket haul this season but it came pretty late as some sloppy wicketkeeping by Ekalavya Dwivedi almost ruined the chances of UP, who should have lead the table.
Uttar Pradesh: 1st Innings 212 and 2nd Innings 50-3 in 17 overs (Dinda 2-36).
Bengal: 1st Innings 284 in 71 overs (Laxmi Ratan Shukla 117, Sudip Chatterjee 66; RP Singh 5-77).
Image: Manish Pandey
Photo: by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images