Mumbai : Youngster Rajat Patidar showed character to crack his third first-class century as Madhya Pradesh tightened their grip on Bengal at the end of the third day of the Ranji Trophy quarter final at the Brabourne Stadium, on Friday.

Patidar, who scored an impressive 137 off 251 balls laced with 19 fours and a six, was thus largely responsible for MP’s end-of-day second innings score of 338 for 5, that gave them an imposing overall lead of 565 with two more days left in the game.

The 22-year-old one-down batsman, was unruffled even as MP lost openers with only 43 on board.  Patidar, who came into the game after hitting tons against Baroda and Railways in the league phase, got involved in two century stands, for the third and fourth wickets, with senior partners Naman Ojha (52)and captain Devendra Bundela (72). Unless a miracle happens, MP should sail through to the semi finals with an outright win.

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