Veteran middle order batsman Rizwan Shamshad etched out another sterling performance to help Ranji Trophy champions Uttar Pradesh amass a mammoth lead against Sialkot on the penultimate day of the Mohammed Nissar Trophy cricket match at the HPCA stadium in Dharamshala on Friday.
Shamshad (88) played sensibly to post his second half-century of the match as Uttar Pradesh scored 361 for seven in their second innings.
It meant Uttar Pradesh have an overall lead of 416 against the Qaid-e-Azam winners.
Seasoned Jyoti Yadav was batting on 48 when the third day's play ended at the fall of Piyush Chawla's (8) wicket.
If Shamshad's knock in the first innings was all about patience and responsibility, in the second it was about aggression and exploiting the absence of key players in the rival team.
He hit eight fours and a six in his 129-ball innings during which he built two useful partnerships.
With Ravi Kant Shukla (64), he added 73 runs for the fourth wicket while he put on 81 runs with Jyoti Yadav for the fifth wicket.
But, the seasoned batsman was unable to reach his century as he was caught by substitute Satbinder Singh while playing a pull shot to Mansoor Amjad.
Earlier in the day, half-centuries by Ravi Kant and skipper Suresh Rania (55) put the home team on the right track towards setting an imposing target for the visitors.
Ravi Kant's was more of a sheet anchor's innings as he played 125 balls for his 64 that contained five boundaries.
On the other hand, Raina brought up his 55 off 79 balls, striking six hits to the fence.
Both of them added 70 runs for the third-wicket stand before Raina was castled by leg spinner Abdul Rehman.
Sialkot had a woeful day as they were plagued by injuries to several players.
Captain Imran Nazir and Shoaib Malik sat out as the former did not want to risk his freak wrist injury suffered while fielding yesterday, and the latter was down with fever and exhaustion.
Besides, the visitors were also set back when Mohammed Asif flew back to Pakistan on an SOS from the national Board.
The cup of woe was full when two substitutes -- Asim Butt and Inam-ul-Haq -- fell ill and the team management had to hire the services of local cricketers Siddharth Manhas and Satbinder Singh.
Resuming their second innings in the morning at the overnight score of 14 for no loss, the UP openers Rohit Prakash and Shiva Kant Shukla -- provided a good start, adding 57 runs for the first wicket.
While right-handed Rohit concentrated on holding one end, left-handed Shiva Kant kept the scoreboard ticking.
Shiva Kant (36) was the first to fall when he was caught behind off the bowling of Tahir Mughal. His 65-ball innings was studded with four boundaries.
Rohit (34) stuck to the job of preserving his wicket before being caught by the keeper off Hafiz Majid. The right-hander also hit four fours in his 82-ball knock.
Uttar Pradesh (1st innings): 316
Sialkot (1st innings): 261
Uttar Pradesh (2nd innings):
Rohit Prakash c Yousuf b Majid 34
Shivakant Shukla c Yousuf b Mughal 36
Suresh Raina b Rehman 55
Ravikant Shukla c Majid b Mughal 64
Rizwan Shamshad c (sub) Satvinder b Amjad 88
Jyoti Yadav batting 47
Praveen Kumar c (sub) Atiq-ur-Rehman b Mughal 1
Piyush Chawla c and b Majid 8
Extras: (b-12, lb-2, nb-14) 28
Total: (for seven wkts in 97.3 overs) 361
Fall of wickets: 1-57, 2-95, 3-165, 4-238, 5-328, 6-337, 7-361.
Bowling: Asif 4-1-7-0, Sarfaraz 22-4-68-0, Mughal 22-1-97-3, Majid 8.4-1-25-2, Rehman 27-1-108-1, Shoaib Malik 7-1-23-0, Amjad 5-0-16-1, Shahjad Malik 2-0-3-0.