Uttar Pradesh were facing a daunting task in their quest of taking the first innings lead and points against hosts Mumbai by stumps on day three of their four-day Ranji Trophy Group B cricket match in Mumbai today.
Replying to the 40-time champions' mammoth first innings total of 610 for 9 declared, UP were at a healthy 155 for one before losing four wickets to be 350 for five at close, still trailing the home team by 260 runs at the Wankhede Stadium.
At stumps, leg spinner Piyush Chawla (54 in 55 balls) and wicketkeeper Ekalavya Dwivedi (50 in 88 balls) were leading the fight for the first innings lead.
Opener Himanshu Asnora of Uttar Pradesh plays a shot during his innings of 92 during a Ranji match against Mumbai at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday. Pic/PTI
UP's reply was earlier built around opener Himanshu Asnora's patient 92 in six-and-a-half hours, one-down Umang Sharma's sedate 53 and Mumbai-born youngster Sarfaraz Khan's quick-fire 44, the most enterprising knock from the visiting side till then, off 51 balls.
The big break for the hosts was given by their partnership breaker Abhishek Nayar, who accounted for both Asnora and Sarfaraz soon after tea, taken when UP were 241 for 3.
Asnora, who batted from yesterday evening, hit 13 fours in his 262-ball knock before getting bowled, while Sarfaraz fell a victim to his impetuosity and was trapped leg before after striking two sixes and four fours. Captain Suresh Raina flopped, making only 9.
For Mumbai, Nayar was the chief wicket taker with 2 for 37 in 18 overs, while the other scalps were shared by left-arm spinner Vishal Dhabolkar (1 for 100) and medium pacer Balwinder Sandhu (1 for 54).
The hosts' leading new ball bowlers, Shardul Thakur and Dhawal Kulkarni, were yet to take a wicket on the slow track.
Mumbai 610/9 declared
Uttar Pradesh 350/5 (Tanmay Srivastava 37, Himanshu Asnora 92, Umang Sharma 53, Sarfaraz Khan 44, Piyush Chawla 54 not out, Eklavya Dwivedi 50 not out; A Nayar 2/37)