Mumbai: Reigning champions Mumbai stood poised for a thumping victory over Vidarbha after reducing them to 177 for 8, in a chase of 530, on day three of their Group A Ranji Trophy match on Saturday.
The hosts compiled a huge 381 for 4 declared in their second innings, riding on centuries from opener Aditya Tare (172 in 190 balls with 16 fours and 6 sixes) and South Africa-bound batsman Ajinkya Rahane (133 in 254 balls with 14 fours and one six), to set Vidarbha an improbable target of 530 for an outright win.
The visitors, who conceded a lead of 148 runs in the first innings, produced another totally inept batting display to face a massive defeat.
Barring a stroke-filled 69 from Shalabh Shrivastava, who hit 15 boundaries in his 91-ball innings before handing a tame catch to mid-on fielder and Mumbai skipper Zaheer Khan, the others caved in without a fight.
Zaheer, getting ready for the tough two-Test battle against South Africa next month, uprooted the middle stump of left-handed opener Faiz Fazal for a duck in the first over of the Vidarbha second essay to start the hosts' victory bid.
Vidarbha were later reduced to 33 for 3 when Akbar Khan and Shardul Thakur sent back Amol Ubarhande and Ranjit Paradkar cheaply before Shrivastava and Hemang Badani (19 in 69 minutes) stemmed the rot.
Once that fourth wicket partnership worth 73 in 89 balls was snapped by Thakur, who dismissed the left handed Badani, another procession of batsmen followed to leave the visitors with the mighty task of scoring 353 more runs for victory on the final day tomorrow.
The two Khans picked up a wicket apiece, Thakur got two while left-arm spinner Akshay Dabholkar also picked up two which included that of top scorer Shrivastava.
Brief scores: Mumbai 261 and 381 for 4 decl. (A Tare 172, A Rahane 133, S Yadav 49 not out; R Jangid 2 for 88). Vidarbha 113 and 177 for 8 (S Shrivastava 69, Shrikant Wagh not out 34; S Thakur 2 for 46, A Dabholkar 2 for 21).