Uttar Pradesh bowlers bounced back from the terrible mauling they received on the first day of the Ranji Trophy semi-final but could not prevent Tamil Nadu from amassing 445 in their first innings on the second day, in Nagpur on Monday.
After virtually running around on a leather hunt on the first day, Uttar Pradesh bowlers clawed their way back into the game by allowing Tamil Nadu batsmen score just 149 runs in exchange of eight wickets in 73.5 overs on the second day.
In reply, Uttar Pradesh ended the day at 25 for the loss of opener Tanmay Srivastav's wicket to C Ganapathy after 19 overs.
Shivkant Shukla on 10 and Suresh Raina on 13 will resume on Tuesday at the Vidharbha Cricket Association Stadium at Jamtha.
Resuming at 296 for two, Tamil Nadu batsmen were held on a tight leash through some accurate bowling led by India ODI player Praveen Kumar.
In an inspired 13-over spell, Praveen accounted for both overnight batsmen S Badrinath (65) and Dinesh Karthik (72), snapped behind by wicketkeeper Amir Khan, and later removed SS Suresh for 12 to return with 3 for 104.
Karthik and Badrinath shared a vital 121-run stand for the third wicket which could prove decisive in this match.
The departure of the overnight pair signalled a collapse of Tamil Nadu innings before a brief resistance by all-rounder C Ganapathy (67 not out) and C Suresh (5) who shared a 48-run stand for the ninth wicket.
First, S Vidyut (3) was bowled by Bhuvenesh Kumar and then Suresh Kumar (12) was caught behind off Praveen. More misery followed for Tamil Nadu as Imitiaz Ahmed removed R Ashwin (15) to reduce TN from 303 for 3 to 353 for 7.
Ganapathy stemmed the rot partially, first adding 30 runs for the eighth wicket with Laxmipathy Balaji (17) and later sharing a crucial 48 runs with Suresh for the ninth wicket.
Ganapathy's highly disciplined innings contained some delicate shots as he notched his 50 to help Tamil Nadu pass the four hundred mark.
Uttar Pradesh wicketkeeper Amir also showed his emerging talent claiming six victims behind the wickets to help his side put up an improved display on the day.
Besides Praveen's 3 for 104, BK Singh took 2 for 82 and IA Ahmed 2 for 74.