Mumbai [ Images ] rode on centuries from Rohit Sharma [ Images ] and Abhishek Nayar [ Images ] to be in a good position to overhaul holders Rajasthan's [ Images ] massive first innings score in their Elite Group A Ranji Trophy match in Mumbai on Saturday.
Sharma struck exactly 100, while Nayar made 155 before retiring at tea because of leg cramps.
But it was Suryakumar Yadav, who tore into the Rajasthan attack as he hit 16 fours and a six in his attacking 87-run knock, that demoralised the visiting team's bowlers.
At stumps here on day three, Mumbai were 439 for five wickets in reply to the defending champions' imposing 530, with Dhawal Kulkarni (29) and Iqbal Abdulla (10) at the crease.
Nayar is expected to resume his interrupted innings on the final day.
The hosts require another 91 runs against a tired attack in which barring the tall Pankaj Singh, who grabbed two wickets and was able to get good bounce and movement on the batsman-friendly pitch, the others looked less than top class.
Singh's opening partner Deepak Chahar was not impressive and finished wicketless, while the two spinners Vivek Yadav and Gajendra Singh were also easily conquered by the Mumbai batsmen in which Yadav was the most attractive with his forceful batting.
Yadav took centre stage once overnight not out batsman Sharma was dismissed within the first hour of play soon after adding 45 runs to his overnight score to notch up his second hundred in the tournament on the trot.
Brief Scores: Rajasthan 530; Railways 439-5 in 109 overs (A Nayar 155 rtd., R Sharma 100; Pankaj Singh 2-22.
UP in command against Saurashtra
Uttar Pradesh [ Images ] dismissed Saurashtra for 281 to get the first innings lead of 81 runs and then scored 175 for four in their second essay as the lead swelled to 256 at stumps on third day of the Elite Group Ranji Trophy match in Meerut.
Starting the day 209 for four, Saurashtra batsmen couldn't show stomach for fight save skipper Jaydev Shah (112) who scored his fourth first-class century.
After Praveen Kumar [ Images ] (2/72) castled the seasoned Sitangshu Kotak (38) early in the day, Saurashtra's middle and lower order simply caved in. Bhuvaneswar Kumar (3/26) and leggie Piyush Chawla [ Images ] (2/22) were the most successful bowlers.
In their second innings, UP slumped to 81 for four with India's [ Images ] ODI specialist Ravindra Jadeja [ Images ] (three for 40) removed Ekalavya Dwivedi (36), Parvinder Singh (2) and rival skipper Suresh Raina [ Images ] (3) cheaply. First innings centurion Tanmay Srivastava (23) was trapped leg before by Sandeep Maniar. However former skipper Mohammed Kaif (53) and Arish Alam (55) added 94 runs for the unbroken fifth wicket partnership as the lead increased to 256.
UP will be aiming for a sporting declaration in order to at least try and get full points from the match. May be the UP batsmen will try and bat till lunch and then Raina's bowlers will get two sessions to get 10 Saurashtra wickets.
Brief Scores: UP 362 and 175/4 (Arish Alam 55 batting, Mohammed Kaif 53 batting, R Jadeja 3/40) Saurashtra 281.
Andhra sniff victory over Tripura
Y Venugopala Rao missed out on a century by just four runs but Andhra Pradesh took total control over the Plate 'A' Ranji Trophy match against Tripura at the ACA-VDCA stadium Visakhapatnam [ Images ].
Andhra Pradesh set Tripura a stiff 333-run target after declaring their second inning at 271 for six and then polished off the five Triupra batsmen in their second innings to reduce them to a precarious 24 for five.
T Atchuta Rao rocked the Tripura top-order by taking four wickets at the expense of just nine runs while K Shahabuddin took one wicket for six runs.
Earlier, resuming at overnight score of 47 for three, Venugopal Rao [ Images ] hit 96 laced with 14 fours while B Sumanth scored 62 including six fours.
TK Chanda of Tripura claimed two wickets by conceding 34 runs followed by Rana Datt who took two for 79.
Brief Scores: Andhra Pradesh: 235 and 271 for six decl Tripura: 174 and 24 for five.
Baroda six runs away from victory
Irfan Pathan [ Images ] claimed five wickets in a first class match after long time as hosts Baroda are only 6 runs away from an outright victory over Madhya Pradesh [ Images ] in an Elite Group match of the Ranji Trophy being played at the Motibag ground.
Requiring 54 runs to win, Baroda were 48 for two at close of play after Madhya Pradesh scored 365 in their second essay courtesy Naman Ojha [ Images ] (94), Devendra Bundela (47) and Taduri Sudhindra (49).
Irfan who bowled a controlled spell got the ball to swing as he grabbed five for 54 (his 15th five-wicket haul in first-class cricket). Three of his five wickets were caught by 'keeper Pinal Shah which showed that he is getting the swing back.
Baroda openers Aditya Waghmode (9) and Kedar Devhdar (20) were both dismissed thus robbing Baroda a chance to get bonus points.
It was bad luck that wicketkeeper Ojha missed a well deserved century by only 6 runs. Ojha and Bundela added 104 runs for third wicket. Another notable partnership was for the eighth wicket where Ankit Sharma and Taduri Sudhindra added 77 runs.
Brief Scores: MP 63 and 365 (Naman Ojha 94, Irfan Pathan 5/54). Baroda 375 & 48/2.
Karnataka [ Images ] win by an innings & 51 runs
A spineless show by Railways batsmen and some fine bowling by left-arm spinner KP Appanna helped Karnataka win by an innings and 51 runs in a second round Ranji Trophy Elite Group encounter at the Karnail Stadium.
Having lost the first match by 10 wickets, the railwaymen conceded bonus points for the second match in a row losing in less than two and half days. The match ended seven overs after lunch with Railway being bowled out for 162 in 59 overs.
Appanna who got his best haul of 5 for 39 bettered his effort picking up 6 for 68 in 21 overs to end with match-haul of 11 for 107.
The Railwaymen prepared a wicket that was supposed to suit their veteran spinner Murali Karthik. But they obviously didn't factor in Appanna's abilities. What Karthik did well on a minefield, Appanna did far better and with much more telling effect.
Railways started the day at 33 for two and for the first time in the match showed some positive intent. However the pitch was such that moment they started pushing and prodding, they found themselves in trouble. It was delaying the inevitable but when Appanna's armer found Sanjay Bangar's pads (14), the writing was there on the wall.
Opener Shivakant Shukla (35) played a few strokes but gave a catch to short mid-wicket fielder precisely placed for that chip shot. The bowler was Appanna. Mahesh Rawat (28) played close to an hour but was then cleaned up by Appanna.
With the noose of relegation tightening after two heavy defeats, a visibly upset captain Sanjay Bangar indicated at wholesale changes for the next match against Rajasthan.
Brief Scores: Karnataka 347; Railways 134 & 162 in 59 overs (Shivakant Shukla 35, KP Appanna 6/68).
Gony five-for helps Punjab [ Images ] crush Orissa
Pacer Manpreet Gony led a superb bowling display with a five-wicket haul as Punjab recorded a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over a hapless Orissa on day three of their Group A Ranji Trophy Elite division match.
Gony conceded just 13 runs for five wickets from his 8.5 overs and he got ample support from his pace colleagues Brainder Sran (4/27) and Sandeep Sharma (1/27) as Orissa were shot out for just 73 in their second innings in 34.5 overs at the PCA Stadium here.
Punjab captain and India discard Harbhajan Singh [ Images ] was wicketless while conceding six runs from his three overs.
Only three Orissa batsmen -- Paresh Patel (13), Subhrajit Sahoo (21) and Lagnajit Samal (14) -- could reach double figures while four batsmen were out for duck.
Punjab, who had a first innings lead of four runs after declaring at 255 for nine yesterday, needed just 70 runs to win the match which they did easily did by losing two wickets.
The home side took just one and half hours to chase down the target with Inder Singh and Mandeep Singh remaining not out on 34 and 26 respectively.
Brief scores: Orissa: 251 all out and 73 all out 34.5 overs (Subhrajit Sahoo 21; Manpreet Gony 5/13, Brainder Sran 4/27). Punjab: 255 for 9 decl and 70 for 2 in 18.5 overs (Inder Singh 34 not out, Mandeep Singh 26 not out).