Tamil Nadu and Mumbai's engrossing tussle for the first innings lead in their Ranji League Super League match remained in the balance at the end of day three, with the host 89 runs behind with six wickets remaining.
Resuming on 180 for four, Mumbai lost its captain Wasim Jaffer after he had added just one to his overnight 66, leg before to L. Balaji. Four balls later, the seamer struck again to remove Iqbal Abdulla, caught behind for a duck.
Ramesh Powar made a typically resilient 21 and put on 38 for the seventh wicket with Prashant Naik before he was trapped in front by C. Ganapathy. The end didn't take long in coming, Suresh Kumar picking up three tailend wickets with his off-breaks from around the wicket, finishing with figures of four for 44.
In good touch
S. Aniruda looked in lovely touch at the start of Tamil Nadu's innings, caressing seamer Javed Khan and left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla to the cover boundary. But he fell to an ungainly stroke, skiing Abdulla to long-off after failing to get to the pitch of the ball.
S. Badrinath kept Abdulla interested by padding up to balls pitching in the leg-side rough, his upraised bat staying close to the ball as it popped off his pads into the hands of the close-in fielders. With Abhinav Mukund struggling against off-spinner Ramesh Powar at the other end, runs came at a trickle.
The left-handed Abhinav fell in the 26th over, with Tamil Nadu on 54, leg before while missing a sweep off Abdulla. He made 13 in 81 balls.
Badrinath upped the tempo after that, targeting 18-year-old left-arm spinner Harmeet Singh. Badrinath drove him to and over the cover boundary in his first over, and lifted him over his head for two sixes in his third over.
Harmeet exacts revenge
Harmeet had his revenge in the first over after tea, diving low to his left to dismiss Badrinath caught and bowled for 51 (113b, 1x4, 3x6). Between that dismissal and the premature end to the day's play, brought about by bad light an hour from the scheduled close, the fifth-wicket pair batted assuredly.
Left-hander K. Shri Vasudevadas on-drove Abdulla and slashed Harmeet for well-timed boundaries while R. Sathish stepped down the track and smacked Powar one bounce over the straight boundary.
Mumbai — 1st innings: S. Kukreja c Badrinath b Aushik 17, O. Gurav c Badrinath b Balaji 0, A. Rahane b Balaji 49, W. Jaffer lbw b Balaji 67, A. Nayar lbw b Suresh 20, P. Naik (not out) 33, I. Abdulla c Karthik b Balaji 0, R. Powar lbw b Ganapathy 21, Harmeet Singh c Badrinath b Suresh 7, Javed Khan c Abhinav b Suresh 0, A. Salvi c Abhinav b Suresh 0; Extras (b-4, lb-2, w-3, nb-15): 24; Total (in 82.5 overs): 238.
Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-32, 3-127, 4-153, 5-181, 6-182, 7-220, 8-232, 9-238.
Tamil Nadu bowling: Balaji 15-3-32-4, Ganapathy 9-3-18-1, Arun Kumar 16-1-62-0, Aushik 26-4-76-1, Suresh 16.5-2-44-4.
Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: Abhinav lbw b Abdulla 13, S. Aniruda c Salvi b Abdulla 20, S. Badrinath c & b Harmeet 51, D. Karthik b Nayar 19, K. Shri Vasudevadas (batting) 21, R. Sathish (batting) 16; Extras (lb-5, nb-4): 9; Total (for four wkts. in 56 overs): 149.
Fall of wickets: 1-28, 2-54, 3-101, 4-117.
Mumbai bowling: Salvi 4-2-5-0, Javed 2-0-9-0, Abdulla 22-7-36-2, Powar 17-4-46-0, Harmeet 7-1-37-1, Nayar 4-0-11-1.