Defending champions hosts Vidarbha were in complete control of their Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Uttarakhand here after taking a huge 274-run first innings lead and then striking big blows later on the fourth and penultimate day of the game on Friday.
At stumps, Uttarakhand were struggling for survival at 152 for 5 in their second essay with India pacer Umesh Yadav having grabbed three of those wickets in a fiery exhibition of fast bowling.
The visitors were adrift by 122 runs with five wickets in hand and would need to bat out of their skin to force a draw which will, however, be enough for Vidarbha to enter the semis.
Earlier, resuming at their overnight score of 559/6, Vidarbha added 70 runs to their tally before their innings ended with a massive tally of 629.
After Wasim Jaffer (206) and opener Sanjay Ramaswamy (141), Aditya Sarwate became the third centurion for the hosts when he made 102 in 185 balls, striking 11 fours, after resuming at his overnight score of 67.
Batting for the second time, openers Vineet Saxena (27) and Karnaveer Kaushal (76) gave the visitors a steady start by putting up 72 for the first wicket.
But Yadav trapped Saxena in front to end the partnership and Vidarbha bowlers came on top.
One-down Vaibhav Bhatt (0) became Yadav’s second victim, while Kaushal was cleaned up by slow-left arm orthodox bowler Sarvate as Uttarakhand were reduced to 3 for 152.
Avneesh Sudha, who hit a valiant 91 in the first essay, could not repeat the feat and fell for 28 and then Vidarbha took another wicket to reduce the Ranji debutant to 152 for 5.
When stumps were drawn, first innings centurion Saurabh Rawat (0 not out) was at the crease.
Brief scores: Uttarakhand 355 and 152 for 5 (Karnaveer Kaushal 76, Avneesh Sudha 28; Umesh Yadav 3-22) versus Vidarbha 629 (Wasim Jaffer 206, Sanjay Ramaswamy 141, Aditya Sarvate 102; D K Sharma 3-101).