East Zone in control

Bengal’s Dinda (4/125) and Orissa’s Basant (4/81) bowled 80.1 overs as they ensured that Central didn’t cross East Zone’s first innings score of 427. At stumps, East were 24 for one having stretched their overall lead to 61 runs and nine wickets remaining.  All the East batsmen need to do now is to bat out time so that there aren’t any hiccups in clinching the semis berth.

Starting the day at 169 for three, the two overnight batsmen Mohammed Kaif (105, 241b,16x4) and Naman Ojha (53, 108b, 2x4, 2x6) took the score to 181 for three before Ojha was caught by Alok Sahoo off Basant’s bowling. The India discard could only add three runs to his overnight score of 50. Kaif completed his 15th first-class century but was bowled by Dinda. Devendra Bundela (80, 191b, 11x4), however, manfully took up the job of taking his team past the score.

Ashok Menaria (16) didn’t last long as he became Dinda’s third victim, caught by substitute Tarjinder Singh. But Bundela found an able ally in Murali Kartik (43, 65b, 7x4). From 237 for six, the duo added 71 runs for the seventh wicket.

Brief scores: East Zone: 427 all out in 114.3 overs and 24/1 in 9 overs vs Central Zone (O/n: 169/3 in 63 overs): 390 all out in 137.1 overs (Hrishikesh Kanitkar 29, Mohammad Kaif 105, Naman Ojha 53, Devendra Bundela 80, Murali Kartik 43; Ashok Dinda 4-125, Basanth Mohanty 4-81, Iresh Saxena 2-77).

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