Mumbai: Abhishek Nayar notched up his second successive century before retiring due to cramps as Karnataka took firm hold of their Elite Group A Ranji Trophy match against Mumbai, on Saturday.

Chasing Karnataka`s huge first innings total of 635 for 9 declared, Mumbai had struggled their way to 354 for 8 on day three, still needing 132 runs to avoid the follow on which thevisitors may not enforce on the last day.

The unbeaten batsman at close was diminutive wicket-keeper batsman Onkar Gurav (20) after the home team lost Dhawal Kulkarni (17) in the last over bowled by Stuart Binny.

Mumbai`s hopes rest mainly on Nayar, who is expected to resume his innings on the morrow after retiring to the pavilion on 137 - his second ton of the season after a double century against holders Rajasthan in the previous game.

The home team were let down by opener Ajinkya Rahane (24), Rohit Sharma (64) and Sureshkumar Yadav (23) who all played poor shots and were dismissed when set after Mumbai resumed at the overnight 37 for 1.

All three batsmen threw away their wickets with rival skipper Vinay Kumar accounting for Rahane, while Sharma and Yadav fell to Abhimanyu Mithun and Binny, respectively.

Rahane drove and edged to gully off Kumar early in the morning before a 126-run stand between Nayar, who has faced 215 balls and stayed at the crease for 322 minutes while hitting 17 fours, and Sharma revived the hosts.

Sharma under-edged an attempted pull off Mithun on to the stumps off the 77th ball he faced in a 131-minute stay while Yadav, also looking good, tried to clear the in-field off Binny and gave a tame catch to mid-on.

Karnataka`s surprise packet was Binny, who grabbed 3 for 27, while Vinay Kumar (3) and Mithun (2) shared the spoils.

(Agencies)