The bulk of his runs came batting with the Nos 10 and 11 Vishal Dabholkar (10) and Vijay Gohil (0).
Indore: Abhishek Nayar once again proved why he is priceless for the Mumbai Ranji team as his gutsy 91 enabled the defending champions set Gujarat a stiff target of 312 in the final of the Ranji Trophy here on Friday.
By stumps on the fourth day, Gujarat openers Priyank Panchal (34 batting) and Samit Gohil (8 batting) helped the second time finalists reach 47/0, with another 265 required on the final day with all 10 wickets intact.
For Gujarat, while the target would be to win outright, they would not mind if they could bat through the day as the first innings lead would ensure them their maiden Ranji Trophy.
In Panchal (1,310 runs), they have an in-form player while Gohil, during his 359, had shown that he can hang around. It will be interesting to see if Gujarat employ a defensive approach or go for the chase and the fifth day promises to be an intriguing one.
That Mumbai are still firmly in contention despite conceding a 100-run first innings lead, is because of Nayar — who fell nine runs short of what would have been a deserving 14th hundred. But it was his rearguard action that enabled Mumbai to reach 411 in their second innings.
The bulk of his runs came batting with the Nos 10 and 11 Vishal Dabholkar (10) and Vijay Gohil (0). The two tail-enders were protected by the senior-most pro as he steadily built a handy lead which would at least give the seamers a chance to defend the trophy despite the wicket still being batting friendly.
While Shreyas Iyer (82) and Prithvi Shaw (44) had provided the platform on the third day, the other significant contributor on the penultimate day was captain Aditya Tare (69).
Mumbai (1st Innings): 228
Gujarat (1st Innings): 328
Mumbai (2nd Innings): Akhil Herwadkar c S.B Gohil b C.T Gaja 16, Prithvi Shaw c P. Patel b T. Gaja 44, Shreyas Iyer c P. Patel b T. Gaja 82, Surya Kumar c P. Patel b Kalaria 49, A.P. Tare lbw H.P Patel 69, S.D Lad c Chirag Gandhi b R.P Singh 15, Abhishek Nayar lbw R. P Singh 91, B.S Sandhu c M.C. Juneja b T. Gaja 20, Shardul c Karan P. b C.T. Gaja 1, Vishal Dabholkar c S.B. Gohil b C.T Gaja 12, Vijay D. Gohil (not out) 0. Extras: (nb5, w7) 12.
Total: (in 137.1 overs) 411.
FoW: 1-54, 2-66, 3-193, 4-238, 5-270, 6-297, 7-323, 8-326, 9-370, 10-411.
Bowling: Singh 29.1-8-83-2, Kalaria 25-11-63-1 (4nb, 2w), Gaja 39-10-121-6 (1nb), Merai 6-3-16-0, H.P .Patel 8-2-89-1 (4w), Bhatt 10-0-39-0 (1w).
Gujarat (2nd Innings): S.B Gohil (batting) 8, P.K Panchal (batting) 34. Extras: (lb5) 5.
Total: (0 wickets in 13.2 overs) 47
Bowling: Shardul 5.2-1-17-0, Sandhu 5-1-19-0, Vijay 2-1-2-0, Abhishek 1-0-4-0.