Thirty runs too many or thirty runs short? The answer to this question may decide the direction the Mumbai and Railways' Ranji Trophy Super League match will take after Saturday.
Both the teams go into the final day with equal opportunity to register their first outright victory of the season. Mumbai need 230 runs at the Bandra Kurla Complex track that is providing enough purchase to the spinners, while the Railways are hoping that the hosts crumble under pressure and provide them with valuable five points that will put their campaign back on track.
Though defending champions Mumbai still have the upper hand with all their 10 wickets intact, the hosts would be disappointed at allowing Railways to set them a target of 252.
Resuming at 64 for 3, Railways scored 269 in their second essay and Mumbai will be thankful to medium pacer Dhaval Kulkarni (5/52) and off-spinner Ramesh Powar (3/65) for ensuring that they do not face an uphill task on Saturday. Mumbai in reply were 22 for no loss with Kukreja batting on 7 and Omkar Gurav on 12.
Kulkarni gave the hosts an ideal start when he shattered the woodwork of overnight not out batsman Yere Goud (15) in his very first spell of the day. But the experienced Sanjay Bangar (62) then stitched a 70 run partnership for the fifth wicket with Prashant Awasthi (32) and wicketkeeper-batsman Mahesh Rawat hit an unbeaten 76 to take the visitors beyond the 250-run mark.
Brief scores: Railways 201 & 269 (S Bangar 62, M Rawat 76; D Kulkarni 5/52, R Powar 3/65), Mumbai 219 & 22/0 (15.0 ov)