A determined rearguard action by skipper-cum-coach Ajay Jadeja kept Rajasthan's hopes of avoiding an innings defeat alive on the third day of their four-day Ranji Trophy Group B Elite Division cricket match against Mumbai on Thursday.
At stumps, Jadeja was unbeaten on 49 in Rajasthan's second innings total of 259 for seven, with Mohd Aslam (4) for company, after the visitors conceded a big lead of 328 to the hosts in the first innings.
Rajasthan were 69 runs short of making the 36-time champions, who made 483 in their first innings, bat for the second time in the match.
Their hopes of avoiding a humiliating loss rested mainly on the former India star who batted fluently after coming to the crease at the fall of the fifth wicket at 178.
Rajasthan started their second innings, after claiming the remaining two Mumbai first innings wickets within half an hour in the morning, shakily when first innings hero Vikram Solanki fell for a duck with 9 on board.
But Mumbai fielders grassed two straight-forward chances off the other opener Gagan Khoda (65) and one-down batsman Rahul Kanwat (60) soon after the dismissal of Solanki.
The twin reprieves, both off Ajit Agarkar, allowed the visitors to recover to 120 before the home team fought back and looked well-poised to surge to an innings victory only for their celebrations to be put on hold by Jadeja.
Earlier, Mumbai added 19 runs after resuming at 464 for eight. Vinayak Samant fell at his overnight score of 41 and Nilesh Kulkarni was dismissed for 19, both to Sumit Mathur who claimed 3 for 53. Aslam ended up with 5 for 132.