Nagpur: Paceman Sandeep Sharma claimed three wickets in four balls as Punjab took a 37-run first innings lead against Vidarbha and then consolidated it by ending the day three of their Ranji Trophy Group B cricket match at 211 for six, here today.
Vidarbha started the day at 149 for six but they failed to overhaul the Punjab total of 195 and could add only nine runs to their overnight total.
The 21-year-old Sharma (5/51) polished off the Vidarbha tail in a jiffy, scalping all four remaining Vidarbha batsmen to claim a five-for as he dismissed Rakesh Dhruv (7) in the fourth over of the day.
He then removed Shrikant Wagh (4), Ravikumar Thakur (0) and Swapnil Bandiwar (0) in a space of four balls as Vidarbha innings folded for 158.
Punjab now have overall lead of 248 runs with opener Jiwanjot Singh (65) and number eight batsman Gitansh Khera (59 not out) striking half-centuries.
Khera and Siddarth Kaul (2) will resume Punjab innings on Wednesday.
In their second essay, Punjab did not enjoy the best of the starts as they lost Manan Vohra (5) and Amitoze Singh (1) in the first few deliveries but opener Jiwanjot Singh (65) and the middle order batsmen did well to ensure they go into the final day with a safe total on the board.
Jiwanjot faced 141 balls in his patient knock, which included seven boundaries.
Mandeep Singh (25), Gurkeerat Mann (22) and Taruwar Kohli (29) got starts but could not convert them into big ones but Khera kept the ball rolling with his superb innings.
Khera punished the Vidarbha bowlers with seven shots to the fence in his 121-ball innings so far.