Out-of-favour India all-rounder Yusuf Pathan slammed a counter-attacking 101-ball 104 as Baroda closed in on a win over Madhya Pradesh in a Group B Ranji Trophy match dominated by bowlers, who have already taken 35 wickets in just two days.
Pathan tore apart the MP bowling attack, smashing six fours and five sixes during his 154-minute stay at the crease, even as the others fell cheaply. In the end, the right-handed batsman was unbeaten as Baroda's second innings came to an end at 244, setting up a stiff target of over 300 runs on a difficult pitch.
At stumps on the second day, the visitors were struggling at 58/5, still needing another 279 runs for an unlikely win at the Moti Bagh Stadium. Rameez Khan (15) and Shubham Sharma, yet to open his account, were at the crease.
Earlier, a day after a frenetic first day's play that 20 wickets fall, Pathan, in the company of tail-enders, scored useful runs to put his team in the driving seat.
He added 72 runs for the 10th wicket with Munaf Patel (17) and 43 for the ninth wicket with Bhargav Bhatt (19) to prop up the hosts.
After picking six wickets in the first innings, Madhya Pradesh opener cum off-break bowler, Jalaj Saxena, picked up seven for his best innings and match figures in first-class cricket.
Baroda 152 and 244 (Yusuf Pathan not out 104; Jalaj Saxena 7/82) vs Madhya Pradesh 60 and 58/5 (Bhargav Bhatt 3/25).