An all-round show by Manoj Tiwary put Bengal in the driver's seat against Jammu & Kashmir on the third and penultimate day of their Ranji Trophy Group A fixture at the Eden Gardens.
The part-time legspinner Tiwary (2/19) claimed two wickets including that of J&K top run-getter Bandeep Singh (73; 8Ã4, 1Ã6) to bowl the visitors out for 315 in their first essay, giving Bengal a handy 72-run first innings lead.
The stylish Bengal batsman then decimated the J&K attack, scoring an unbeaten 52 off 37 deliveries (6Ã4) as they ended the day at 216 for three, a total lead of 288 runs.
"We want to bat tomorrow (Friday) as well and take the lead to at least 350. Our first target is to secure a draw and then declare as soon as possible," said Tiwary after the third day's play.
Bengal approached their second innings positively as the opening pair of Abhimanyu Easwaran (63) and Arindam Das (60) put on 126 runs together at a healthy 4.0 run rate.
Earlier, J&K resumed the day on 183 for five but lost Shubham Singh Pundir in the second ball when Bengal's leading wicket taker Ashok Dinda (3/102) castled the left-hander.
But it was Bandeep, who stood tall and took them past the follow-on mark of 237 with No. 9 Ram Dayal who also prove to be a thorn for the Bengal bowlers with a gritty 62 not out (7Ã4, 1Ã6).
Brief Scores: Bengal: 387 & 216 for 3 in 44 overs (Abhimanyu Easwaran 63, Arindam Das 60, Manoj Tiwary 52 batting). J&K: 315 all out in 112.5 overs (Bandeep Singh 73, Ian Dev Singh Chauhan 73, Ram Dayal 62 not out; Ashok Dinda 3/102).
TN crush UP to log home bonus points
Tamil Nadu produced a profesisonal performance to log home 7 points including a bonus beating Uttar Pradesh by an innings and 49 runs with a day to spare in a Ranjhi match.
Resuming at the overnight score of 360 for 7, Tamil Nadu lasted for just 14 overs with Amit Mishra claiming all the
three wickets that fell on Thursday in the hosts innings.
The highlight of the Uttar Pradesh second innings was quartet of spinners operating during the 57.1 overs in which time, the hosts achieved their second win of the season.
This is Tamil Nadu's second win this season and earlier they had defeated J&K at Dindigul and with this win, they take their tally to 16.
Pandey misses 200, Gopal hits 100 for Karnataka
Manish Pandey (193) missed out on a double ton even as Shreyas Gopal (124) hit his second first class century as Karnataka took a healthy 213-run first innings lead over Madhya Pradesh in their Ranji contest.
Resuming at 214 for three, Karnataka ended day three at a formidable 516 for eight in reply to Madhya Pradesh's 303 all out at Holkar Cricket Stadium.
Abhimanyu Mithun (22) and Udit Patel (0) will resume Karnataka's innings on Friday.
Brief Scores: Madhya Pradesh 1st innings: 303 all out Karnataka 1st innings: 516 for 8 in 168 overs (Manish Pandey 193, Shreyas Gopal 124; Yogesh Rawat 3/91)
Baroda fight back against Railways
Railways skipper Mahesh Rawat and Rohan Bhosale struck fighting half centuries before Baroda came back to leave the battle for the decisive first innings lead slightly in their favour on day three of the Ranji match.
On a rare sunny day in the Delhi winter, 93 overs were bowled with Railways reaching 251 for seven at stumps, trailing Baroda's 298 by 47 runs.
Both teams know the value of the gaining the first innings lead going into the final day on Friday. Only 11.5 overs could be bowled on Wednesday due to inclement weather.
Brief scores: Baroda 298. Railways (Mahesh Rawat 50, Rohan Bhosale 76; Irfan Pathan 2/49, Yusuf Pathan 2/53).