Batsmen put Mumbai in a strong position to push for an outright win against Punjab on Day 3 of their four-day Ranji Trophy Group B match here on Saturday.
The 40-time champions posted a commanding total of 569 for 8 declared, taking a massive lead of 415.
The Punjab batsmen did show some application in their second innings with opener Jiwanjot Singh (91) and Mandeep Singh (82) taking the visitors to 244 for four at stumps. However, despite their efforts the visitors still trail by 171 runs going into the fourth and final day on Sunday.
Mumbai’s bowlers picked up from where they had left off in the first innings. Pacer Shardul Thakur got a breakthrough with Punjab having just 16 on the board. However, Mumbai’s spinners failed to capitalize on Thakur’s start and the turning conditions prevalent on the three-day old pitch. However, late in the day, Mumbai got a big break as Punjab skipper Yuvraj Singh failed to execute an expansive sweep, getting bowled out to part-time spinner Akhil Herwadkar.
With the second new ball due early on Sunday, Mumbai would fancy their chances of polishing off the remaining Punjab batsmen and then surging to a victory.
Earlier, Mumbai carried their overnight score from the overnight 495 for 6 to go past the 560 mark before declaring.
Skipper Aditya Tare remained unconquered on 137 after a five-hour stay during which he faced 172 balls and struck 16 fours.
Brief scores: Punjab 154 & 244/4 (Jiwanjot Singh 91, Mandeep Singh 82*, H Chawla* 31) vs Mumbai 569/8d (A Tare 137*, D Kulkarni 42; S Kaul 2/103, Barinder Sran 3/87, S Ladda 2/197).