Ramesh Powar wreaked havoc with a five-wicket haul as Mumbai skittled out Delhi for a meagre 211 to take a huge first innings lead of 289 runs on the third day of the Ranji Trophy semi-final in Mumbai on Tuesday.
A deadly spell of 5.3-3-9-5 by the India discard soon after lunch triggered a dramatic collapse, as Delhi, replying to Mumbai's huge first innings total of 500, lost their last six wickets for the addition of only 23 runs in 20.3 overs.
Powar, who ended up with 5 for 47, was given good support on a spinning Brabourne stadium track by left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla. The off-spinner's victims included Delhi's captain and main hope Rajat Bhatia.
It was the dismissal of Bhatia, who was bowled after a defiant 85 -- inclusive of nine fours and two sixes -- that started the steep slide. The visitors slumped from 188 for 4 in the 73rd over to 211 all out in the 79th.
By stumps, the hosts, who did not enforce the follow-on, increased their overall lead to 412 by putting up 123 for four in the second innings, with opener Sahil Kukreja doing the bulk of the scoring with a knock of 71, studded with 13 fours.
Delhi's left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra grabbed three of the four wickets that fell, but it looks almost certain that 38-time champions Mumbai will enter their 43rd final on Wednesday.
Delhi, chasing the huge Mumbai total that was built mainly around Abhishek Nayar's gritty 156, were already on the backfoot when play commenced this morning with their score reading 85 for three.
The visitors lost opener Shikhar Dhawan after he added eight runs to his overnight 36 in 24 balls when Ajit Agarkar had him edging a defensive prod in the eighth over of the morning.
Despite this setback, the visitors, with Bhatia (overnight 27) leading the way with forceful play, and Gaurav Chabra (45 in 174 balls) supporting him well, were 157 for four at the end of the pre-lunch session.
It was Bhatia's rash slog-sweep that helped Powar break the stand after the fifth-wicket duo had added 89 runs in 232 balls. The off-break bowler then sent back wicketkeeper Puneet Bisht (0) also with the last ball of that over, his 12th, to leave Delhi struggling at 188 for six.
Powar dismissed next man Pradeep Sangwan also for a duck with a ball that jumped off the good length and took the batsman's gloves to land in the hands of short-leg fielder Onkar Khanvilkar.
Having taken three wickets in a jiffy, Powar added the wickets of Ishant Sharma and last-man Parwinder Awana to his kitty after Abdulla trapped Chabra leg before to terminate the Delhi first innings with just over half an hour to tea.
With the wicket showing signs of huge spin and with a view to bat Delhi out of the tie, Mumbai decided not to enforce the follow-on.
Though they lost their mainstays -- captain Wasim Jaffer and Ajinkya Rahane -- cheaply for the second time in the match, Kukreja struck a breezy half-century in the second essay to ensure that Powar's good work did not go waste.
After raising a half-century stand with his captain, Kukreja put on 66 runs for the third wicket with Khanvilkar before being beaten by Mishra's turn and bowled.
At close, Khanvilkar, who pulled Mumbai out of the woods in the company of Nayar in the first innings with a doughty 70, was unbeaten on 15 while night-watchman Abdulla was the other not out batsman without scoring a run.
For Delhi, Mishra grabbed the wickets of Jaffer and Vinayak Samant in four balls in one over finish the day with 3 for 32.
Mumbai (1st innings): 500
Delhi (1st innings) (Overnight 85-3):
M Tehlan c Khanvilkar b Malvi 5
S Dhawan c Samant b Agarkar 44
A Jain lbw Agarkar 11
M Manhas b Salvi 5
R Bhatia b Powar 85
G Chabra lbw Abdulla 45
P Bisht b Powar 0
P Sangwan c Khanvilkar b Powar 0
I Sharma st Samant b Powar 1
P Awana c Jaffer b Powar 11
V Mishra not out 0
Extras: (nb 3, wb 1) 4
Total: (all out in 80.3 overs) 211
Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-24, 3-35, 4-99, 5-188, 6-188, 7-192, 8-200, 9-204.
Bowling: A Agarkar 16-4-48-3, U Malvi 13-3-38-1, A Salvi 14-5-21-1-, A Nayar 6-0-22-0, R Powar 15.3-4-47-5, I Abdulla 16-5-35-1.
Mumbai (2nd innings):
S Kukreja b Mishra 71
W Jaffer c Bisht b Mishra 20
A Rahane c Sangwan b Jain 1
O Khanvilkar batting 15
I Abdulla batting 0
Extras: (b 8, lb 4, nb 3, wb 1) 16
Total: (for 4 wkts, in 33 overs) 123
Fall of wickets: 1-50, 2-53, 3-119, 4-119
Bowling: P Sangwan 6-0-21-0, P Awana 3-2-1-0, I Sharma 2-0-10-0, V Mishra 11-3-32-3, P Jain 8-2-36-1, M Tehlan 3-0-11-0.
Karnataka take massive lead over UP
Bangalore: Karnataka have one foot in the Ranji Trophy final after taking a massive 410-run overall lead against Uttar Pradesh at the end of Day 3 in their semi-final clash.
Sustained fiery fast bowling spells by Abhimanyu Mithun (4/21) decimated Uttar Pradesh as they collapsed for 208 while pursuing Karnataka's imposing 575 for 7 declared and ended up conceding a whopping first innings lead of 367 runs.
The visitors could have been bundled for a total below 200, but for Praveen Kumar's breezy 58 not out that was studded with four boundaries and five sixes.
Batting a second time, Karnataka were 43 for three as Piyush Chawla (3 for 9) ripped through the top order, accounting for Robin Uthappa (18), KB Pawan (16) and Manish Pandey (4).
In effect, Karnataka are ahead by 410 runs with seven wickets in hand.
Barring a miracle, only two results are possible on the morrow, the last day of the tie. Either a Karnataka win or a draw. In both cases the hosts will be through to the final.
Mithun was UP's tormentor-in-chief, scalping four wickets at the expense of 21 runs from 18 overs to take his season's tally to 38.
Though the wicket played low and slow, the ball often skidding through, the well-built, young Karnataka bowlers extracted disconcerting bounce to put fear into the UP batsmen.
Struggling against the short, rising ball as they did when Mithun dug it in, the visiting batsmen tended to stay on the back foot. And when he pitched the ball up, they were knotted up in the crease and played onto the stumps, as was manifested in the dismissals of Tanmay Srivatsava (12) and Mohammed Kaif (20).
Resuming at their overnight score of 11 for two, UP lost Tanmay and Parvinder Singh within four overs in the first session.
The left-handed Tanmay was castled by Mithun while Parvinder, UP's highest run-getter this season, was trapped in front of the wickets by R Vinay Kumar.
A determined Kaif, who lasted three hours at the wicket, and Rohit Prakash (55) stitched the tottering innings with a stubborn fifth-wicket partnership worth 88 runs.
The fall of Kaif and Rohit Prakash, who was caught by Robin Uthappa off Sunil Joshi, saw UP plummet to 166 for nine before Praveen Kumar used the long handle to good effect, slamming Joshi for four towering sixes.
Karnataka (1st innings): 575 for 7 decl.
Uttar Pradesh (1st innings): (Overnight 11 for 2)
Tanmay Srivatsava b Mithun 12
S Shukla run-out 0
B Kumar lbw b Mithun0
Mohammed Kaif b Mithun 20
Parvinder Singh lbw b V Kumar 0
Rohit Prakash c Uthappa b Joshi 55
Piyush Chawla lbw b Aravind 36
Amir Khan c Uthappa b Mithun 0
Praveen Kumar not out 58
Praveen Gupta b Aravind 0
RP Singh b Verma 1
Extras: (b-11, lb-1, nb-2, w-2) 15
Total: (all out in 74.2 overs) 208
Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-11, 3-12; 4-13, 5-101, 6-129, 7-130, 8-160, 9-166.
Bowling: R Vinay Kumar 15-5-31-1, Abhimanyu Mithun 8-7-21-4, Sunil Joshi 23-6-56-1, Sreeshanth Aravind 14-3-45-2, Amit Verma 4.2-1-13-1.
Karnataka (2nd innings):
Robin Uthappa lbw b Chawla 18
K B Pawan lbw b Chawla 16
Ganesh satish batting 3
Manish Pandey b Chawla 4
AmitVerma batting 1
Extras: (b-1) 1
Total: (for 3 wkts in 23 overs) 43
Fall of wickets: 1-34, 2-35, 3-39.
Bowling: R P Singh 7-2-12-0, Bhuvaneswar Kumar 5-0-18-0; Praveen Gupta 6-3-3-0; Piyush Chawla 5-4-9-3.