Opener Ravi Teja scored an unbeaten century for Hyderabad but Mumbai stayed in sight of a huge victory on the third and penultimate day of the Ranji Trophy Elite Division Group 'A match at the Mumbai Cricket Association's BKC ground, on Thursday.
Mumbai shot out Hyderabad for a paltry 251 after posting a mammoth first innings total of 602 for six declared. Then, after making the visitors follow-on, reduced them to 38 for 3 at one stage in their second innings before Teja counter-attacked with a brilliant ton century in his bid to keep Hyderabad afloat.
Teja's superb unbeaten effort of 107, after a first innings duck, helped Hyderabad, who trailed Mumbai by 351 runs on the first innings, end the day at 166 for 4. They needed 185 runs more to avoid an innings defeat.
The opener struck four sixes and 15 fours in his 103-ball effort.
Teja, who raced to his hundred in only 85 balls, inclusive of 14 fours and four sixes, is Hyderabad's best bet to avoid an innings defeat. He and wicketkeeper Abhinav Kumar (18) were at the crease at stumps.
Earlier, resuming at 82 for 2, the visitors advanced comfortably to 136 without further loss before a sudden slump, triggered by off-spinner Ramesh Powar, saw them being reduced to 195 for 7.
The stocky slow bowler sent back overnight unbeaten batsmen Suman (67) and Pai (66) before finishing with 5 for 67, which included two wickets in as many balls.
It was Powar's second such haul of the season following figures of 5 for 44 against Rajasthan in Mumbai's lung-opener. It was also the bowler's 16th such feat in the Ranji Trophy and 19th in first class cricket.
Hyderabad's Ahmed Quadri remained unbeaten with a defiant 50.
Things looked fine for Hyderabaed as the two overnight batsmen, Suman and Pai, batted comfortably. But the sudden slump began after Suman lofted Powar over the cover region and was caught by Amol Muzumdar.
He batted for more than an hour in the morning and faced 145 balls, striking three sixes and 10 fours.
The dismissal broke the third wicket partnership of 130 runs between Suman and Pai. The duo came together on Wednesday evening when Hyderabad was in deep trouble at 6 for 2.
Hyderabad then lost wickets regularly, left-handed Pai, who struck 12 fours in his 189-minute innings, also falling at 172 after Abhinav Kumar had gone back five overs earlier.
Later, Powar sent back Arjun Yadav and M P Arjun off successive deliveries, with Vinayak Mane at short leg and Mumbai captain Asim Jaffer in the slip cordon bringing off fine diving catches.
Powar claimed the wicket of Shoaib Ahmed to complete his five-wicket haul before pace bowlers Ajit Agarkar and Usman Mavi returned to dismiss the last two batsmen who defied the Mumbai bowlers for lengthy periods.
Following-on, Hyderabad plunged into trouble straightaway. Suman played back to Kulkarni and was trapped leg before while trying to turn to leg and Malvi got rid off Rushi Raj through a diving catch by Mane at cover point.
Pai fell to Kulkarni before Teja, who was timing the ball superbly at the other end, and Hyderabad captain Arjun Yadav seemed the rot with a stand of 88 runs.
Sairaj Bahutule sent back Yadav for 22 when the batsman played defensively to a leg break and was caught by Jaffer in the slips.
Teja and Abhinav Kumar however denied Mumbai further success.
Mumbai (1st innings): 602 for 6 decl.
Hyderabad (1st innings) (overnight 82-2):
T Suman c Muzumdar b Powar 67
D Ravi Teja c Rahane b Kulkarni 0
Rushi Raj c Samant b Kulkarni 2
A Pai c Samant b Powar 66
Abhinav Kumar c Samant b Malvi 1
Arjun Yadav c Mane b Powar 29
Ahmed Quadri not out 50
M P Arjun c Jaffer b Powar 0
S M Shoaib b Powar 2
Ashwin Yadav lbw Agarkar 7
Lalith Mohan b Malvi 6
Extras: (b 8, lb 1, wb 2, nb 10) 21
Total: (all out, in 84 overs) 251
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-6, 3-136, 4-150, 5-172, 6-195, 7-195, -215, 9-229.
Bowling: Agarkar 12-3-31-1, Kulkarni 17-5-36-2, Malvi 16-3-79-2, Powar 28-11-67-5, Bahutule 10-2-29-0, Sharma 1-1-0-0.
Hyderabad (2nd innings):
T Suman lbw Kularni 5
R Teja batting 107
Rushi Raj c Mane b Malvi 4
A Pai c Jaffer b Kulkarni 2
Arjun Yadav c Jaffer b Bahutule 22
Abhinav Kumar batting 18
Extras: (w 2, nb 6) 8
Total: (for 4 wkts, in 34 overs)166
Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-13, 3-38, 4-126
Bowling: Kulkarni 9-1-28-2, Malvi 6-1-45-1, Agarkar 3-0-34-0, Powar 7-1-34-0, Bahutule 7-0-18-1, Sharma 1-0-7-0, Muzumdar 1-1-0-0.