Bengaluru: Shardul Thakur and Balwinder Singh Sandhu's fine display of bowling injected more drama into the Ranji Trophy semifinal which seems headed for an exciting finish with Mumbai needing 384 runs to dethrone defending champions Karnataka.
Set a daunting target of 445 runs, Mumbai were 61 for no loss at stumps on day two of the semifinal.
Openers Aditya Tare (40) and Akhil Herwadkar (21) were in the middle with Mumbai still needing something special for a remarkable turnaround after they were dismissed for 44 in their first innings.
Mumbai fortunately have three more days to get those runs, and looking at the approach of Tare and Herwadkar, they seem to have a plan to go for the target in a calculated manner.
On the flipside, Karnataka will fancy their chances to deal early blows.
Resuming at the overnight score of 10 for two, Karnataka were bundled out for 286 in their second innings, with nightwatchman Abhimanyu Mithun (89) and Ravi Kumar Samarth (58) scoring bulk of the runs.
Tare would have hoped to take early wickets to bring his team back into the game, but he could not as he apparently seemed running out of ideas, which was evident in the lower-order batsman Mithun making merry out of the poor bowling attack.
Surprisingly enough, Tare did not use his star bowler Shardul Thakur early on, giving ample opportunity for Mithun and Samarth to take the game away from Mumbai by stitching a speedy 149 run partnership for third wicket.
Mithun rubbed salt over the wounds of Mumbai by cracking a career-best 89 off 113 balls with 14 hits to the fence, before he was cleaned up by Thakur.
At lunch, Karnataka were 161 for three in their second innings, 319 head of the visitors.
Resuming the score at 161 for three at lunch, Karnataka lost the plot after inform Samarth was stumped brilliantly by Tare off Sandhu for 58.
Manish Pandey and Karun Nair then put on 61 runs for fifth wicket and took the hosts total to 222.
Nair did not last long as he was caught by Tare behind the stumps off Sandhu after making a useful 28 with five hits over the ropes, leaving Karnataka at 222 for five.
After the departure of Nair, the Mumbai bowlers ran through the Karnataka innings by scalping last five wickets after conceding 64 runs.