Mumbai rode on Hiken Shah's third successive ton to set Bengal a stiff target of 391 to win their Group A Ranji Trophy league match, after declaring second innings at 294 for 5 on the third, penultimate day in Mumbai.
Bengal were 47 without loss in 16 overs that they batted with openers Arindam Das and Rohan Banerjee batting on 19 and 23 respectively. The visitors need 344 runs on the final day tomorrow in a minimum of 90 overs -- with all wickets intact -- for a win on Brabourne Stadium wicket which seems to have eased out.
Mumbai, who led Bengal by 96 runs in the first innings and started the day at 6 without loss, lost the wickets of Wasim Jaffer (19), Kaustubh Pawar (31) and skipper Rohit Sharma, who again flopped in the game by making 14, before the left-handed pair of Shah and Abhishek Nayar propped up the innings.
Shah, who notched up 108 in 209 balls with 16 hits to the fence before being dismissed by Shami Ahmed, and Nayar, who cracked his second half ton of the game while making 73 not out in 90 balls, had a century stand for the fourth wicket. Having scored centuries in games against Rajasthan and Hyderabad, Shah was in blazing form and along with Nayar, who struck 5 fours and a six, put on 158 runs to help Mumbai apply the closure 40 minutes before the scheduled close of play.
The home team declared once Aditya Tare fell to a catch in the deep after making a quickfire 19 off 11 balls with three fours and a six. But Bengal openers Das and Banerjee had no trouble in negotiating the Mumbai attack in fading light, and remained undefeated for resumption of the battle tomorrow.
In Kanpur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar shone with a five-wicket haul as Uttar Pradesh produced a dominating show to thrash Baroda by 10 wickets and claim their second outright victory in this season's Ranji Trophy to move to the top of the Group B's points table.
After Arish Alam's enterprising 106, Kumar (5 for 34) ran through the Baroda batting line-up on the penultimate day of their four-day Ranji tie to bundle out the visitors for 114 in their second innings. Set a target of just eight runs, Tanmay Srivastava and Mukul Dagar sealed the win in under two overs to claim the =bonus point with a day to spare at the Green Park Stadium.
Uttar Pradesh are on 17 points from four games now, with Odisha and Baroda behind on 13 each from four matches. UP earned six points for the win and an additional point for doing it by 10 wickets.
Brief scores from other Ranji matches:
Saurashtra 576/9 decl (Ravindra Jadeja 331, Kamlesh Makvana 100 no, Hardik Rathod 5/98). Railways 157/1 (Shivakant Shukla 74 batting, V Cheluvaraj 49 batting).
Rajasthan: 222 & 196 all out in 58.2 overs (Vineet Saxena 41, Rashmi Parida 33; Sandeep Sharma 5/57, Baltej Singh 3/59). Punjab: 215 & 149 for one in 41 overs (Jiwanjot Singh batting 80, Ravi Inder Singh batting 34).
Gujarat 1st inngs: 566. Hyderabad 1st inngs: 291 for four in 104 overs (Akshath Reddy 79, Hanuma Vihari 79, Bavanaka Sandeep batting 61; Rush Kalaria 1/29).
Haryana 307 & 167/6 (Amit Mishra 50 batting, Vikas Mishra 3/57, Sumit Narwal 2/15). Delhi 224 all out in 76.1 overs (Unmukt Chand 83, Mithun Manhas 53, Mohit Sharma 3/35, Harshal Patel 3/55).
Maharashtra: 315 and 73 for one in 26 overs (Harshad Khadiwale batting 43). Odisha: 441 all out in 129 overs (Niranjan Behera 103, Biplab Samantray 107; Samad Fallah 3/118).
Tamil Nadu first innings: 449 for eight decl in 180 overs. Vidarbha first innings: 214 for two in 84.4 overs (Faiz Fazal 110 batting, S S Das 62; A Srinivasan 1/30)
Andhra 1st inngs: 393. Goa 1st inngs: 285 for nine in 111 overs (Ravikant Shukla not out 84; Duvvarapu Shivkumar 6/41, T Atchuta Rao 2/89).
Tripura: 441 and 116 for 5 in 48 overs (Abbas Ali 59 batting; Vikramjeet Malik 3/25). Himachal Pradesh: 260 all out in 77 overs.
Kerala: 314 and 9/0 (Abhishek Hegde 8 not out). Services: 335 all out in 119.1 overs (Soumik Chatterjee 107, Yashpal Singh 89; Sandeep Warrier 4/86).
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