Sanju Samson continued his good form and struck a quickfire century as Kerala need another nine wickets on the final day of the play to register an outright win over Saurashtra in a Ranji Trophy Group B match.
At stumps on the third day of the play on Sunday, Kerala reduced Saurashtra to 30 for one after declaring their second innings at 411 for six.
Saurashtra still trail Kerala by 375 runs with nine wickets in hand and a full day's play remaining.
Opener Avi Barot (6) was the lone wicket to fall for Saurashtra. Snell Patel (15 not out) and Robin Uthappa (8) was at the crease at the close of play.
Earlier resuming their second innings at the overnight score of 69 for one, Samson hit a fluent 175 off 180 balls with the help of 16 boundaries and eight sixes, while KB Arun Karthik made 81 off 132 balls to guide Kerala to 411 for six declared in 92 overs.
Samson and Arun Karthik played fluently and stitched 214 runs off 267 balls for the fourth wickets to lay the foundation for Kerala's second innings total.
Besides the duo, Jalaj Saxena and Rohan Prem made identical 44 besides Salman Nazir scored an unbeaten 34.
Slow left-arm orthodox bowler Dharmendrasinh Jadeja (4/153) picked up four wickets while Jay Chauhan (2/126) accounted for two Kerala batsmen in the second innings.
Kerala: 225 & 411 for six in 92 overs (Sanju Samson 175, KB Arun Karthik 81; Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 4/153)
Saurashtra: 232 & 30 for one in 15 overs (Snell Patel 15 not out, Robin Uthappa 8 not out; Sijomon Joseph 1/9).
Brief Scores of other Group B matches:
Rajasthan: 153 & 183 for four in 61 overs (Robin Bist 81, Chetan Bist 54; Siddharth Desai 2/68).
Gujarat 1st innings: 601 for four declared in 155 overs (Parthiv Patel 173, Priyank Panchal 152, Bhargav Merai 110, Manprit Juneja 83; Mahipal Lomror 1/95).
Haryana: 184 & 161 for nine in 83 overs (Rajat Paliwal 45; Ram Dayal 5/42).
J&K 1st innings: 176 all out in 54.5 overs (Ahmed Bandy 67; Ashish Hooda 3/38, Ajit Chahal 3/64).
Bengal inch closer to quarter-final berth with innings victory
Rookie medium pacer Ishan Porel grabbed his maiden five-wicket haul as Bengal inched closer towards quarter-final with an emphatic innings and 19 run win over Punjab in a Ranji Trophy group D encounter.
Openers Abhishek Raman (155) and Abhimanyu Easwaran (117) propelled Bengal to 379 for 9 before declaring with a big lead of 232 runs.
Punjab were then bowled out for 213 in 56.1 overs with former India U-19 Porel finishing with figures of 5 for 32 in 10.1 overs. Debutant left-arm spinner Pradipta Pramanik (2/72 in 20 overs) and all-rounder B Amit (2/32 in 11 overs) also shared the spoils.
Bengal with 20 points from five games will now need to get atleast a first innings lead against Goa in their final home match in order to ensure a smooth passage into the last eight.
The only time Punjab looked like putting up some resistance was when Gurkeerat Mann (57 off 53 balls) and Anmolpreet Singh (40) added 90 runs for the fourth wicket.
Once Gurkeerat was out trying to give Amir Gani the charge, things changed quickly as wickets fell at regular intervals.
"I am feeling very satisfied having been able to scalp five wickets for Bengal for the first time and that too in a winning cause. We needed to win this match and the fact that I have been able to contribute in some way is even more satisfying," Porel told CAB's official website after the match.
Asked what did they do special as a bowling unit, Porel replied:"We obviously had a plan. We tried to keep it tight and bowl the right lengths. The big runs scored by the team also helped. It put the pressure on them. The fact that we batted for two days and they were skittled out in the first innings rocked their confidence. They just could not fight back."
In Amritsar: Punjab 147 and 213 in 56.1 overs (Gurkeerat Singh 57, Anmolpreet Singh 40, Ishan Porel 5/32)
Bengal 1st Innings 379/9 decl (Abhishek Raman 155, Abhimanyu Easwaran 117). Bengal won by innings and 19 runs.
Points: Bengal 7; Punjab 0.
In Porvorim: Goa 239 and 19/2.
Vidarbha 427/3 decl (Wasim Jaffer 158, Sanjay Ramaswamy 87, Ganesh Sathish 101).
In Raipur: Chattisgarh 130 and 133 (Diwesh Pathania 7/41)
Services 272 (Vikas Hathwala 76, Shahnawaz Hussain 5/59)
Chattisgarh won by an innings and 9 runs.
Points: Services 7; Chattisgarh 0.
Madhya Pradesh fight back after conceding lead
The Madhya Pradesh top-order held firm after conceding the first innings lead to keep Tamil Nadu at bay, reaching 142 for 1 at stumps on day three of the Ranji Trophy Group C match on Sunday.
The visitors had earlier shrugged off the early loss of N Jagadeesan, who fell for 101, to secure a 62-run lead riding on a strokeful ton by V Yomahesh, his second this season after being recalled.
Tamil Nadu finished with 326 in response to MP's first innings score of 264.
Opener Rajat Patidar, batting on 81 off 131 balls (12 fours and a six) and Shubham Sharma (41, 79 balls) saw off a tricky early spell from the Tamil Nadu bowlers K Vignesh and M Mohammed to build the innings.
By the end of the day the host had increased the lead to 80 runs.
Though Tamil Nadu captain Abhinav Mukund used six bowlers, Patidar and Sharma batted in a resolute manner to deny the rival any advantage.
Tamil Nadu,in a must-win situation with just another game to go after this, pressed hard for a breakthrough but Patidar played well to deny them any success.
Vignesh, who did most of the damage in the first innings for Tamil Nadu, dismissed Aditya Shrivatsava for 16, caught by B Aparajith.
However, he couldn't make too much of an impression on Patidar and Sharma.
Earlier, resuming at 191 for 6, Tamil Nadu saw N Jagadeesan and V Yomahesh post centuries and help the team secure the lead and register 326 in the first innings in reply to MP's 264.
Jagadeesan, who was 94 not out overnight, added seven more runs before falling to Avesh Khan.
His 101 included 13 fours.
Yomahesh, who had help resurrect the Tamil Nadu innings, continued to attack and added 92 runs with M Mohammed (43, 5X4, 1X6) for the eighth wicket.
The all-rounder, who hit seven boundaris and five sixers in his 103 not out, was involved in a 26-run stand with No.10 R Sai Kishore to extend Tamil Nadu's lead.
The innings ended when last man K Vignesh was LBW to Ankit Sharma.
Brief scores: Madhya Pradesh 264 all out in 90.1 overs (Ankit Sharma 77, Ankit Dane 63, Ishwar Pandey 29, K Vignesh 4 for 32, M Mohammed 3 for 67) and 142 for 1 in 40 overs (Rajat Patidar 81 batting) vs Tamil Nadu 326 all out in 105.4 overs (N Jagadeesan 101, V Yomahesh 103 not out, M Mohammed 43, Ishwar Pandey 3 for 67, P Datey 3 for 55).
At Ongole: Mumbai 332 all out in 132 overs
(PrithviShaw 114, Siddhesh Lad 86, Dhawal Kulkarni 50 not out, Abhishek Nayar 35, B Ayyappa 4 for 110, K V Sasikanth 3 for 61) and 190 for 4 in 41 overs (Shreyas Iyer 75 batting, Suryakumar Yadav 33) vs Andhra Pradesh 215 all out in 77 overs (Ricky Bhui 69, G H Vihari 70, Shardul 5 for 55, Dhawal Kulkarni 3 for 44).
At Vadodara: Baroda 503 all out in 137.4 overs (Kedar Devdhar 104, N A Rathva 115 not out, Vishnu Solanki 109, Deepak Hooda 51, Basant Mohanty 5 for 85) vs Odisha 315 for 5 in 120 overs (Subranshu Senapati 131 batting, Biplab Samantaray 55).