Manoj Tiwary and Sudip Chatterjee scored centuries to lead Bengal's spirited comeback against Mumbai, while Gujarat put themselves in line for full seven points after enforcing the follow-on against Punjab.
A round up of Day 3 of the Ranji Trophy matches:
Tiwary, Chatterjee lead Bengal's fightback
Nagpur: Captain Manoj Tiwary and Sudip Chatterjee hit centuries as Bengal turned the tables on Mumbai by wiping out the first innings deficit on the third and penultimate day of their Ranji Trophy Group A encounter, on Thursday.
While Tiwary played a splendid innings of 169 runs before he was run out, Chatterjee scored 130 to take Bengal to 433 for eight in their second innings.
It was a good comeback by Bengal, who were dismissed for 99 in their first innings, as they stretched their lead to 303 runs, which seems suffice to save the match.
Resuming on their overnight score of 198 for three, Bengal put up an inspired batting performance riding on Tiwary and Chatterjee's big knocks to make up for the 99-run disaster in the first innings.
Tiwary struck 22 fours and a six in his 288-ball stay at the crease, while Chatterjee managed 18 hits to the fence in his 304-ball knock.
There were some useful contributions down the order as well with Pragyan Ojha's unbeaten 32-ball 30 being most notable.
For Mumbai, Dhawal Kulkarni grabbed four wickets for 108 runs in his 32 overs. Abhishek Nayar also picked up a couple of wickets.
Bengal: 99 and 433/8 in 131 overs (Manoj Tiwary 169, Sudip Chatterjee 130, Dhawal Kulkarni 4-32).
Raina blasts 91 to lead UP's charge
Rajkot: Suresh Raina hit an aggressive 91 in his first first-class match after a brief illness-related lay-off as Uttar Pradesh sniffed victory over Railways on the third and penultimate match of their Group A match.
Raina, who did not play in the New Zealand ODI series after being named in the India squad due to an illness, played a captain's knock to help UP score 330 all out in their second innings at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
Raina hit nine fours and two sixes in his 106-ball innings. His innings is expected to draw attention of national selectors when they pick the Indian team for the home ODI series against England next month.
Kuldeep Yadav (19), who was sent as night-watchman on Day 3 on Wednesday, hung around for 17 overs in the morning and added 37 runs to overnight 64 for 2 along with Shivam Chaudhary (124).
After Kuldeep was dismissed at the team score of 101, UP scored at 4.77 per over from that point with Raina leading from the front. His partnership of 140 with Chaudhary, who scored his maiden first-class century, helped swell the lead before they were bowled out for 330.
Chasing a stiff victory target of 377, Railways were reduced to 35 for five at stumps on Day 3 as they suffered a top-order collapse.
Railways captain Karn Sharma returned with a five-wicket haul (five for 71), including the scalp of Raina, but his side stared at a defeat after the flop show by his batsmen.
UP medium-pacer Praveen Kumar, playing his first match of the season, took wickets in consecutive overs to leave Railways reeling on four for two in the third over.
Railways could not quite recover from this as they went on the defensive, and crawled to 35 for five in 27 overs at the close of play.
Only opener Shivakant Shukla (13) could reach double digit score out of the five Railways batsmen dismissed so far.
Wicketkeeper Mahesh Rawat (3 runs off 43 balls) was batting with Karn (7 runs off 33 balls) at stumps. They require another 342 runs for victory on the fourth and final day.
Uttar Pradesh: 259 & 330 all out in 90 overs (Shivam Chaudhary 124, Suresh Raina 91; Karn Sharma 5/71).
Railways: 213 & 35 for 5 in 27 overs
Saurashtra push for upset win over Karnataka
Patiala: Bottom-placed Saurashtra were poised for an upset win over Karnataka after their spinners spun a web around the opposition batsmen on the third and penultimate day of their Group B match.
Saurashtra's spin twins -- off-spinner Kamlesh Makvana and left-arm spinner Jay Chauhan -- claimed five wickets between them as group toppers Karnataka ended the day with an overall lead of just nine runs as they reached 168 for five in their second innings at stumps.
Saurashtra had already taken the first innings lead as they posted 359 in their first innings in reply to Karnataka's 200 all out.
Prerak Mankad, who had raised his maiden first-class century overnight, finished with 126.
Karnataka struggled early in their second innings, and were reduced to 27 for two in the eighth over before being lifted through a third-wicket stand of 110 between Kaunain Abbas and Manish Pandey. Their association ended with Pandey's dismissal for 58.
Stuart Binny (6) and CM Gautam (0) were dismissed cheaply but Abbas stayed not out on 62, and along with Shreyas Gopal (15 batting), ensured that there was further damage.
Karnataka: 200 & 168 for 5 in 60 overs (Kaunain Abbas 62 not out, Manish Pandey 58; Kamlesh Makvana 3-46).
Saurashtra: 359 all out in 115 overs (Prerak Mankad 126; Snell Patel 87; Vinay Kumar 4/54, Abrar Kazi 4-83).
Gujarat enforce follow-on against Punjab
Belagavi: Gujarat put themselves in line for full seven points after enforcing the follow-on against Punjab on the back of a strong show by their bowlers on the third and penultimate day of their Ranji Trophy Group B
After declaring on a mammoth 624 for six, courtesy of Priyank Panchal's triple century on Day 2, Rush Kalaria picked four wickets for 41 runs to skittle Punjab for 247 in 85.2 overs in their first innings.
Manan Vohra top-scored with 68, while cameos from Mayank Sidhana (39), Gitansh Khera (35 not out) and Manpreet Gony (26) ensured Punjab added 113 for the last four wickets.
Hardik Patel and RP Singh complemented Kalaria by picking two wickets each.
Having to wipe out a deficit of 377, after being asked to follow-on, to prevent Gujarat from winning a bonus point, Punjab closed on 36 for one, with Vohra (14) and Jiwanjot Singh (4) at the crease.
Punjab now trail by 341 runs overall with nine second innings wickets in hand.
A win for Gujarat will give them seven points, including one bonus point, and that will put them in a good position to qualify for the knockout stage. They are at third position in Group A with 21 points from five matches before this game.
On the other hand, a loss for Punjab (17 points from six matches before this game) could mean that their qualification for the knockouts hinge on other results.
Only three top teams from the group will qualify for the knockout phase.
Gujarat: 624 for 6 declared.
Punjab: 247 all out in 85.2 overs (Manan Vohra 68) & 36/1 (f/o) in 12.1 overs.
MP on the verge of big win against Baroda
Dharamsala: Madhya Pradesh put themselves on the verge of an outright win over Baroda, who were struggling at 114 for nine after being set a stiff target of 347 on the penultimate day of their Ranji Trophy Group A match.
Madhya Pradesh, who had already earned a 53-run first innings lead, resumed their second essay on 126 for five and straight away lost overnight batsman Shubham Sharma in the fourth over. They were 131 for six at that stage with an overall lead of 184.
Two partnerships of 50 for the sixth wicket and 69 for the ninth wicket helped MP add 162 more for the last four wickets before folding for 293, to set Baroda a challenge target for victory.
Overnight batsman Harpreet Singh (73) and Puneet Datey (41) chipped in with important runs, while Ishwar Pandey hit 36 off 41 balls at No. 10.
For Baroda, Atit Sheth finished with figures of 4 for 51.
Baroda faltered in their run chase, and barring an opening stand of 32 and a third-wicket partnership of 24, they failed to put up any resistance and collapsed to 95 for nine in 30 overs.
Medium-pacer Chandrakant Sakure (4/17) was the most impressive bowler for MP, while Ishwar Pandey (2/19) and Datey (2/49) took two wickets each.
Madhya Pradesh: 217 & 293 all out (Harpreet Singh 73, Puneet Datey 41; Atit Sheth 4/51).
Baroda: 164 & 114 for 9 in 35 overs (Chandrakant Sakure 4/17, Ishwar Pandey 2/19, and Puneet Datey 2/49).
Delhi-Vidarbha 3rd day's play rained out
Chennai: The third day's play in the Ranji Trophy Group A match between Delhi and Vidarbha was called off due to heavy rain.
At stumps on Day 2, Delhi had grabbed a crucial 67-run first innings lead after Manan Sharma's 80-run effort saved the team from an embarrassing collapse.
Delhi were 250 for eight when play finished on the second day.
Services set Chhattisgarh a stiff target
Mumbai: An unbeaten 156 by wicketkeeper-batsman Nakul Verma helped Services declare their second innings at 340 for seven and set a challenging target of 285 for Chhattisgarh on the penultimate day of their Group C Ranji Trophy match.
Services, who were trailing by 56 runs in their first essay, had a terrible start to their second innings at the MCA's Bandra-Kurla Complex ground as opener Aanshul Gupta was dismissed on four and one down Ravi Chouhan (4) too fell cheaply with the scoreboard reading eight for two.
Amit Pachhra (2) also did not lost long and Services were in deep trouble at 19 for three.
However, Verma was joined by Shamsher Yadav (40) and two played responsible knocks to stitch a crucial 110-run-stand for the fourth wicket to steady the boat.
Even after Yadav's dismissal, Verma continued to play well and found an able partner in Rahul Singh, who missed his century by just one run.
Verma and Rahul ensured that the team cross the 300-run mark with a solid 175-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
Verma scored 156 not out off 224 balls, studded with 19 fours and a six, while Rahul was caught by Shivendra Singh off Pankaj Rao on 99 that came off just 109 balls. His valiant knock comprised 12 fours and three sixes.
For Chhattisgarh, both Pankaj Rao and Abhuday Kant Singh scalped three wickets each while Sumit Ruikar bagged one.
At stumps, Chhattisgarh were 6 for no loss. They now need 279 runs to win the match on the fourth and final day with all wickets intact.
Services: 225 & 340 for seven decl ((Nakul Verma 156 not out, Rahul Singh Gehlot 99).
Chhattisgarh: 281 & 6/0.
Summarised scores of other Group C matches:
1) Andhra v Goa at Dhanbad
Goa won by 34 runs
Goa: 115 & 276
Andhra: 159 & 198 all out in 59.2 overs (Ricky Bhui 71; Rituraj Singh 4/24, Shadab Jakati 3/70).
Points - Goa 6, Andhra 0.
2) Haryana vs Himachal Pradesh at Valsad
Himachal Pradesh: 233 all out (Sumeer Verma 66; Sanjay Pahal 5/71) & 142 for one (Prashant Chopra 89 batting).
3) Jammu and Kashmir vs Hyderabad at Vadodara
Hyderabad: 328 & 244 for 2 decl (Tanmay Agarwal 103 not out, S Badrinath 66)
J&K: 169 & 42 for 4 in 17.0 overs (M Ravi Kiran 2/14).
4) Kerala vs Tripura at Cuttack
Tripura: 213 & 162 all out (Sumit Patel 54; Akshay Chandran 4/16, Iqbal Abdulla 3/32).
Kerala: 193 & 117 for no loss in 29 overs (Mohammed Azharuddeen 80 batting).