Jaipur: Uttar Pradesh are firmly in sight of an outright win after enforcing an follow-on on the defending champions Rajasthan in the Ranji Trophy Elite division Group A match at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Thursday.
Riding on superb bowling performances by Piyush Chawla (4/59) and Bhuvnesh Kumar (3/75), UP bundled out Rajasthan for a mergre 274 in their first innings in reply to their first innings total of 492.
However, while following on, the hosts put up a better performance in their second essay to surge to 91 without loss at the draw of stumps on day three, with Akash Chopra unbeaten on 57 and Vineet Saxena on 32.
Rajasthan though still trail by 127 runs and have an uphill task on the final day to save the match.
Earlier, after resuming at an overnight total of 119 for two, Rajasthan lost Rashmi Parida, who was batting on 43, early with an addition of just six more runs.
Other unbeaten batsman Robin Bist, having resumed on 44, also struggled but managed to add some crucial runs to the team`s total before falling to Chawla for 170-ball 76, studded with 10 fours.
Vaibhav Deshpande (1) also fell cheaply to left Rajasthan reeling at 185 for five.
However, Ashok Menaria (57) scored a half-century and in the able company of Rohit Jhalani (27) added 51 runs for the sixth wicket to steady the boat.
But Bhuvneshwar managed to get rid of Menaria and that triggered a collapse and Rajasthan fell for 274.
Besides, Chawla`s four wickets and Bhuvneshwar`s five, skipper R P Singh chipped in with 2 for 97 to put UP on top. In their second innings, Rajasthan got off to a good start with Chopra and Saxena adding 91 for the unfinished opening-wicket stand.
Brief scores: UP 1st innings: 492 all out (Parvinder Singh 91, Piyush Chawla 88; Vivek Yadav 5/121, Deepak Chahar 4/144).
Rajasthan: 274 & 91 for no loss (Akash Chopra batting 57, Vineet Saxena batting 32).