Crucial half-centuries by veteran Sanjay Bangar and wicketkeeper-batsman Mahesh Rawat ensured that a riveting contest was in the offing as visitors Railways set Mumbai a target of 252 on day three of the Ranji Trophy Group A Elite division match.
Going into the final day's play, Mumbai were 22 for no loss, needing another 232 runs for their first outright win of the season with Sahil Kukreja (7) and Omkar Gurav (12) at the crease.
Earlier, resuming at an overnight score of 64-3, Railways who were just 46 runs ahead, got off to a bad start losing the experienced Yere Goud (15), bowled by pacer Dhawal Kulkarni in the seventh over of the day, for the addition of just 23 runs.
But Bangar batted patiently and shared a vital 70 run partnership for the fifth wicket in the company of debutant Prashant Awasthi, who had made an impressive 62 in the first essay, in just over 20 overs.
However, both the batsmen were dismissed in quick succession - Awasthi (32) being castled by part-timer Rohit Sharma and Bangar 62 (183b, 4x8, 6x1) caught and bowled by Iqbal Abdulah - to leave the visitors struggling at 171-6.
It was here that Rawat took charge and added an important 98 runs for the final four wickets with the remaining batsmen, who scored just 27 of those runs but stayed long enough on the wicket to let the wicket-keeper batsman take Railways lead past the 250-run mark.
Rawat remained unbeaten on 76 in 138 balls with the help of eight fours and one six, even as Kulkarni removed the tailenders at the other end to finish with figures of 5-52.
Offie Ramesh Powar supported Kulkarni well to finish with figures 3-65.
Railways: 201 and 269 (M Rawat 76 not out, Sanjay Bangar 62; D Kulkarni 5-52, R Powar, 3-65).
Mumbai: 219 and 22-0.
Assam's strong reply against Bengal
Kolkata: Bengal found themselves at the receiving end with Assam giving the hosts a brave reply on the penultimate day of their Ranji Trophy Super League Group A match at Eden Gardens.
In reply to Bengal's mammoth 562/6, Assam rode on half-centuries by Sridharan Sriram, Sibsankar Roy and Dhiraj Jadhav as the visitors finished the day with 293/3.
Veteran Sriram held the fort with an unbeaten 89 and crafted 126 runs for the 3rd wicket with skipper Amol Muzumdar who missed a 50 by six runs.
Debutant medium-pacer Sami Ahmed, who was down with fever last night, claimed all the three wickets as Bengal were hit hard by his sickness that permitted him only 11 overs.
Resuming at 10 for no loss, Assam capitalised on the weak Bengal pace attack in absence of Ahmed in the morning as openers Roy (89) and Jadhav (62) laid the foundation with a 150-run opening parntership.
As Sami could not take the field in the morning session, Bengal opened their attack with Ranadeb Bose and all-round Laxmi Ratan Shukla who found the going tough with little assistance from the flat strip.
With both the left-hand openers Roy and Jadhav looking good Assam were 114 for no loss at lunch.
Sami, who debuted in absence of Ashok Dinda (fever), came into action in the 46th over and gave Bengal a reason to cheer taking the scalp of Roy in his second over.
He castled Jadhav to cap a perfect first spell with figures of 7-2-37-2 before again going off the field.
With veterans Sriram and Muzumdar at the crease, it was time for Assam to bat the day out as the duo put on a defiant stand to frustrate Bengal.
Towards the close, Sami returned to action and gave another breakthrough in the form of Muzumdar who misjudged the line only to see his off-stump crashed.
Sriram said their effort would give Bengal sleepless nights. "We made a conscious effort to not look at the scoreboard. We have to bat out another day," Sriram said.
Bengal: 562/6 declared in 167 overs (L R Shukla 250, W Saha 178).
Assam 293/3 in 88 overs (S Sriram 89 batting, S Roy 89, Dhiraj Jadhav 62; Sami Ahmed 3/57).
Nagar hits maiden ton as Delhi take command
New Delhi: Yogesh Nagar slammed his maiden first class century as Delhi strengthened their grip over Gujarat on day three of their Super League Group A Ranji Trophy match at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.
Nagar smashed 15 fours and two huge sixes during his career-best innings of 151 not out, and in the company of opener Shikhar Dhawan (149), added 197 runs for the fourth wicket to help the hosts to a massive 437 in reply to Gujarat's paltry 71 in their first innings.
In their second essay, Gujarat were 114 for the loss of two wickets when stumps were drawn for the day.
Openers Jay Desai and Priyank Kirit Panchal got the visitors off to a much better start after the debacle on the first day but they could not sustain it for long as Delhi picked up two wickets just before close to leave Gujarat on the brink of defeat.
With Delhi still enjoying a healthy 252-run lead, Gujarat will have their task cut out on Saturday.
Earlier Delhi, resuming at 248 for the loss of three wickets, rode on Dhawan and Nagar's solid centuries to post a mammoth total.
Unbeaten on 116 overnight, Dhawan started from where he had left it yesterday, unleashing some power-packed shots across the ground. The left-handed Delhi opener cleared the fence 17 times during his 246-ball knock and 217-minute vigil at the crease.
After failing to pick any wickets in the morning session, Rohit Dahiya gave the visitors a breakthrough when he had Dhawan caught behind by Parthiv Patel for a well-crafted 149.
Dhawan's departure, however, didn't end Gujarat's misery on the field as Nagar stitched together another half-century stand, this time with Aditya Jain (20).
Sumit Narwal then smashed a quickfire 26 off 20 balls before Manhas declared Delhi's innings.
For Gujarat, Dahiya and Ishwar Choudhury picked up two wickets each, while Siddharth Trivedi took one.
Gujarat 1st innings 71 all out
Delhi 1st innings 437-6 decl (Dhawan 149, Nagar 151 not out)
Gujarat 2nd innings 114-2
Badani help Haryana take lead against Karnataka
Rohtak: Hemang Badani scored a patient 88 to help Haryana take a first innings lead over Karnataka and assure themselves of at least three points in their Ranji Trophy Super League Group B match.
Resuming at 146/3 in reply to Karnataka's first innings total of 222, Nitin Saini (64) added seven more runs to his overnight score before being dismissed by Abhimanyu Mithun.
His partner Badani then took the onus on himself and hit a useful 194-ball 88 comprising seven fours and two sixes as Haryana finished their first innings at 319, taking a 97-run lead.
Badani anchored the Haryana innings but he lost out of partners before eventually being trapped in front of wicket by R Vinay Kumar in the 101th over.
K B Pawan (31) and C M Gautam (34) then amassed 67 runs for the opening wicket as Karnataka reached 72 for one in 32 overs in their second essay, still trailing by 25 runs.
At the draw of stumps, Ganesh Satish (0) was giving Pawan company at the Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium here.
Karnataka first innings: 222 all out in 71.2 overs
Haryana first innings: 319 all out in 108.2 overs (N Saini 64, HK Badani 88; SB Joshi 3/64)
Karnataka second innings: 72/1 in 32 overs (KB Pawan batting 31, Ganesh Satish batting 0; YS Chahal 1/4).
Punjab facing defeat against Himachal
Dharamsala: Punjab were staring defeat in the eye in their Ranji Trophy Super League Group B match against hosts Himachal Pradesh after being bundled out for 229 in their first innings and following on, reduced to 42 for one in their second essay at the HPCA stadium.
In reply to Himachal's first innings huge total of 473, the visitors folded up a good 244 runs behind in their first essay and following on, lost experienced Uday Kaul (8) after opener Vishwas Bhalla (5) got retired hurt on a drama-filled penultimate day.
Pacers Vikramjeet Malik and Rishi Dhawan made good use of the windy conditions and wreaked havoc with the ball in Punjab's first innings, claiming three wickets apiece while another medium-fast Mohinderraj Sharma chipped in with two wickets.
Resuming at their overnight score of 54 for two after losing both the openers Ravi Inder Singh (13) and Vishwas Bhalla (15) on Thursday, the visitors entered the third day with an aim to avoid follow-on in their mind.
But their hopes received an early blow when overnight batsman Uday Kaul (14) departed without adding to his score.
He was dismissed by pacer Vikramjeet caught by Manvinder Bisla.
Yuvraj Singh (27) then came to the middle and combined well with another overnight batsman Rahul Sharma (22) to take the team total past 100-mark. Both added crucial 54 runs for the fourth-wicket partnership.
Pacer Dhawan broke the partnership having Yuvraj caught by Mukesh Sharma with the visitors' total reading 108 for four.
At the same score, Mohinderraj claimed the wicket of Rahul to leave the Punjab team in dire straits.
Skipper Pankaj Dharmani (9) also did not last long and was bowled by Vikramjeet.
Mandeep Singh (53) and wicketkeeper Gitansh Khera (25) tried to rebuild the innings and took the team total to 178 when the latter was dismissed by Mohinderraj.
Tailenders failed to provide ample support to Mandeep and Punjab's first innings folded at 229 runs.
Following on, the visitors were 42 for one with opener Ravi Inder Singh (15) and Yuvraj Singh (9) at the crease. Punjab is still trailing by 202 runs with 9 wickets remaining.
Himachal Pradesh: 1st innings: 473
Punjab 2nd innings: 229 and 42 for 1 (following on)
Saurashtra on the backfoot against Tamil Nadu
Rajkot: Tamil Nadu reduced Saurashtra to 246 for four after Abhinav Mukund and Subramaniam Badrinath helped them to a mammoth 582 for six declared on the third day of their Group A Super League Ranji Trophy encounter at the Khandheri Cricket Stadium.
At close, Shitanshu Kotak was unbeaten on 75, while Sagar Jogiyani was giving him company on 19. Ravindra Jadeja departed after scoring a fluent 63 off 86 balls, trapped in front by Ravichandran Ashwin.
The hosts trailed by 356 runs with six wickets in hand when stumps were drawn on the penultimate day of the match.
Resuming at 483 for the loss of two wickets, Mukund and Badrinath started with a flurry of boundaries before Mukund fell to Rakesh Dhurv for a monumental 232. Mukund's innings was laced with 27 boundaries and a six and the batsman faced 409 balls during his 579-minute vigil at the crease.
Tamil Nadu delayed the declaration so as to give Badrinath an opportunity to get to his double century but the batsman was unlucky to have missed the mark by just five runs.
When on 195 Badrinath went for a run but Pratik Mehta's throw at the stumps found the batsman short of crease.
Badrinath hit 18 fours and two sixes during his knock that came off 269 balls at a decent strike rate of 72.49.
Tamil Nadu 1st innings 582-6 decl
Saurashtra 1st innings 246-4 (Kotak 75 not out, Jadeja 63)
UP lead by 160 runs against Baroda
Vadodara: Opener Tanmay Srivastava and Bhuvneshwar Kumar hit twin half-centuries as Uttar Pradesh scored 279 for eight in their second innings against Baroda by stumps on the penultimate day of their Ranji Trophy Super League Group B match.
Resuming at 25 for no loss, Srivastava completed his fifty, scoring 60 in 128 balls while Kumar scored a 101-ball 55 comprising five boundaries to help Uttar Pradesh extend their lead to 160 with two wickets remaining.
Tailenders Amir Khan (30) and Praveen Gupta (4) were at the crease when the stumps were drawn as the match is headed to an exciting finish at the Moti Bagh Stadium here.
Yusuf Pathan again emerged as the highest wicket-taker for Baroda, claiming four for 79 runs today, to extend his total wickets to nine in this match.
Munaf Patel, who had claimed four wickets in the first innings, scalped two more, giving away 37 runs. Ajitesh Argal and Bhargav Bhatt accounted for one wicket each.
Uttar Pradesh first innings: 190
Baroda first innings: 309
Uttar Pradesh second innings: 279/8 in 100 overs (TM Srivastava 60, B Kumar 55; Yusuf Pathan 4/79).