Mumbai: Wicketkeeper Naman Ojha and captain Devendra Bundela cracked hundreds each to help Madhya Pradesh take the crucial first innings lead over Mumbai on day three of their Group A Ranji Trophy cricket tie here today.
Ojha, who was the reserve wicketkeeper in the opening India-Australia Test at Adelaide when captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was unavailable, slammed a superb 155 studded with 19 fours and a six, while veteran Bundela made 115 laced with 14 fours and a six.
The fourth wicket duo, which joined forces yesterday after tea, frustrated the Mumbai attack with a massive stand of 258 off 478 balls to put MP well on way to overhaul the hosts' first innings total of 404.
Thanks to the pair's solid batting followed by a quickfire 67 with 10 fours and a six by Harpreet Singh Bhatia, MP ended the penultimate day at a commanding 538 for seven, an overall lead of 134 runs over the 40-time champions.
At stumps, Ankit Sharma (35) and Puneet Datey (16) were the unconquered batsmen, as the visiting team ensured themselves of at least the first innings points.
Starting the day at 221 for three, the fourth wicket combo kept its wicket intact as MP reached 312 for three at lunch with Ojha having completed his 18th first class century by then.
Bundela followed suit after the break when he reached his ton in 233 balls against a pedestrian Mumbai attack that lacked the requisite penetration on the placid track.
Ujjain-born Ojha was caught at slip by rival skipper Suryakumar Yadav off Javed Khan's bowling.
Bundela and next batsman Harpreet Singh carried MP's score past the hosts' total before the visiting captain departed off the bowling of left arm spinner Iqbal Abdullah.
Harpreet then marshalled the lower order to take the score past 500. But he got out, just eight overs before the close of play.
Madhya Pradesh: 538 for seven in 162 overs (Naman Ojha 155, Devendra Bundela 115, Iqbal Abdullah 3/123).