KD Aphale scored 158 as Maharashtra took a big first innings lead of 214 runs over Saurashtra at the end of the third day of their four day West Zone Ranji Trophy league match at the Deccan Gymkhana ground in Pune on Wednesday.

Replying to Saurashtra's 217, Maharashtra were all out for 431. At close of play on the penultimate day, Saurashtra were 165 for two in their second innings.

AV Kale, at No 4 scored a valuable 84. He faced 144 balls and hit eleven fours and added 76 runs for the fourth wicket with veteran S Sugwekar (26). But the Maharashtra innings really gathered momentum when Aphale and SD Lande put on 167 runs for the sixth wicket off 45.2 overs. Lande was out for 62, compiled off 138 balls and inclusive of eight hits to the ropes. Aphale however continued to bat till he was last out after batting 333 minutes. He faced 234 balls and hit 22 fours. Opening bowler SS Gansondia was the one bowler to make an impression with a bag of five for 90.

Saurashtra in their second innings were given a good start by openers Vasanth Kumar (46) and SS Tanna (19) who put on 65 runs off 24 overs. This start was consolidated upon by an unbeaten third wicket partnership of 94 runs off 40.3 overs between skipper Sitanshu Kotak (39) and PJ Bhatt (54).