Tamil Nadu were in a strong position to secure an outright victory against Baroda, needing just 87 runs with nine wickets in hand, after R Aswin spun the visitors out for 191 in their second innings in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group 'A' cricket match in Chennai on Friday.
At close on the third day, Tamil Nadu were 26 for 1. An outright victory will help Tamil Nadu retain their place in the Elite group.
Earlier, the hosts, resuming at 267 for 6, lost their last four wickets for the addition of 75 runs. Irfan Pathan grabbed 4 for 59 while brother Yusuf 3 for 64.
Tamil Nadu gained a significant lead of 79 runs in the first innings.
In Baroda's second innings, veteran spinner Aashish Kapoor started the slide, dismissing both the openers, Connor Williams (11) and Satyajit Parad (13), and then Aswin took over to work his magic.
Such was the dominance of the Aswin-Kapoor combine that no partnerships were allowed to flourish.
The top-scorer was Irfan Pathan, who scored 36.
Aswin had a match haul of 11 for 129.
Tamil Nadu lost Dinesh Karthik (4) lbw to Irfan Pathan. First innings centurion M Vijay was batting on nine and R Prasanna at eight at stumps.
They have 90 overs to make the 87 runs tomorrow.
Baroda (1st innings): 263 all out
Tamil Nadu (1st Innings):
Dinesh Kaarthick run out 1
M Vijay c Jacob Martin b Yusuf Pathan 121
R Prasanna b Irfan Pathan 0
S Badrinath c Jacob Martin b Yusuf Pathan 89
H Badani b Yusuf Pathan 19
S Sharath c sub.Rishikesh Parad b Irfan 32
R Satish b Irfan Pathan 7
S Vidyuth c Himanshu Jadav b Ajit Bhoite 38
R Aswin b Ajit Bhoite 13
C Ganapatrhy not out 0
Aashish Kapoor c Ajit Bhoite b Irfan 10
Extras: (b-6, lb-5, nb-1) 12
Total: (in 122.3 overs) 342
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-3, 3-177, 4-221, 5-248, 6-261, 7-290, 8-329, 9-332.
Bowling: Irfan Pathan 24.3-2-59-4, R Patil 18-4-41-0, Rajesh Pawar 26-7-91-0, Yusuf Pathan 29-7-64-3, Ajit Bhoite 25-6-76-2.
Baroda (2nd innings):
Connor Williams b Aashish Kapoor 11
Satyajit Parab c R Prasanna b Aashish Kapoor 13
Rakesh Solanki lbw R Aswin 5
Jacob Martin b Aashish Kapoor 9
Yusuf Pathan c C Ganapathy b Aashish Kapoor 29
Irfan Pathan c Dinesh Karthick b R Aswin 36
Himanshu Jadav lbw R Aswin 13
Pinal Shah c R Prasanna b S Vidyuth 5
Ajit Bhoite not out 30
Rajesh Pawar c&b R Aswin 12
Rakesh Patel lbw R Aswin 4
Extras: (B-15, Lb-4, NB-5) 24
Total: (in 55.2 overs) 191
Fall of wickets: 1-21, 2-29, 3-42, 4-74, 5-88, 6-122, 7-135, 8-143, 9-163.
Bowling: C.Ganapathy 5-3-7-0, R.Satish 2-1-1-0, R Aswin 25.2-6-64-6, Aashish Kapoor 17-3-72-3, S.Vidyuth 6-2-28-1.
Tamil Nadu (2nd innings):
Dinesh Karthick lbw b Irfan Pathan 4
M Vijay batting 9
R Prasanna batting 8
Extras: (lb 5) 5
Total: (for one wicket in 9 overs) 26
Fall of wickets: 1-4
Bowling: Irfan Pathan 5-0-16-1, Rakesh Patel 2-1-4-0, Yusuf Pathan 2-1-1-0.