Tamil Nadu wicket-keeper batsman Narayan Jagadeesan came up with a gritty 183 to help his team post a competitive total of 424 on the second day of a Ranji Trophy Elite Group B game against Saurashtra on Thursday.
Then Tamil Nadu hit back to reduce Saurashtra to 107 for 3, as the hosts are still adrift by 317 runs.
After Saurashtra led by their skipper Jaydev Unadkat took honours on the opening day by restricting Tamil Nadu to 250 for 7, it was Jagadeesan, who pulled the side out of trouble, by notching up his fourth first-class 100.
The 24-year-old right-hander, who was unbeaten on 61, added 122 runs to his overnight score as his knock ensured that the visitors crossed the 400-run mark.
The usually aggressive Jagadeesan buckled down and added 115 runs for the eight wicket with M Mohammed (42 off 121 balls), who played the perfect second fiddle and held one end up.
Jagadeesan hammered 22 fours and five other hits over the fence in his 256-ball knock.
He also added 66 runs for the last wicket with K Vignesh and in the process took the Saurashtra attack to cleansers.
For Saurashtra, Unadkat (6-73) grabbed another five- wicket haul and emerged as the most successful bowler.
The result of the game would not affect Saurashtra as they have already qualified for the quarter-finals, while it will have a bearing on TN’s prospects, as nothing less than a win would give them an outside chance to make the final eight.
In reply, the hosts playing at the SCA stadium in Khandheri, lost opener Harvik Desai (12) cheaply.
Lanky left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore dismissed the other opener Kishan Parmar (24) a little later, as Saurashtra were reeling at 45/2.
Avi Barot (38 not out) and Vishvarajsinh Jadeja (16) tried to rally the innings, but the latter was dismissed when he gave a sitter to R S Jaganathsinivas to a delivery from spinner M Siddharth, as Saurashtra lost their third wicket at 87.
Barot and Arpit Vasavada (11 not out) ensured no further damage till stumps were drawn.
But Saurashtra have a mountain to climb and with two days remaining, Tamil Nadu can go in for the kill.
Meanwhile at the Wankhede, in an inconsequential game, Mumbai posted a massive 427 on the board in their first essay against Madhya Pradesh.
Both teams are out of the coveted domestic tournament.
Sarfaraz, who has had a dream run this season, however fell 23 runs short of a double hundred.
He already has a triple, double and now a hundred to his name this season.
Then Mumbai bowlers reduced Madhya Pradesh to 200/7, still adrift by 227 runs.
In Bengaluru, Baroda are marginally ahead by 60 runs, but hosts Karnataka can sniff victory having taken five Baroda wickets in their second essay and still two days left.
Brief Scores: Tamil Nadu 424 (N Jagdeesan 183; Abhinav Mukund 86; Jaydev Unadkat 6-73) v/s Saurashtra 107/3.
Saurashtra trail by 317 runs.
In Mumbai: Mumbai 427 (Sarfaraz Khan 177; Aakarshit Gomel 122; Gourav Yadav 4-101) v/s Madhya Pradesh 200/7 (Venkatesh Iyer 87 not out; Royston Dias 2/38, Deepak Shetty 2/43). Madhya Pradesh trail by 227 runs.
In Bengaluru: Baroda 85 and 208/5 (A Pathan 90, Deepak Hooda 50; M Prasidh Krishna 2-29) v/s Karnataka 233 (Karun Nair 47, Abhimanyu Mithun 40; S Sopariya 5-83). Baroda lead by 60 runs.
In Lucknow: Himachal Pradesh 220 and 182/3 (R Thakur 73, A P Vashisht 51 not out; Saurabh Kumar 2/48) v/s Uttar Pradesh 119 (Aksh Deep Nath 46; R R Dhawan 5-32, Vaibhav Arora 3-34). Himachal Pradesh lead by 283 runs.