Central make most of rain-hit day

Central make most of rain-hit day

Kaif-led side leaves defending champions East reeling at 64/3

East Zone lost their top order batsmen after a cautious start, managing to reach 64 for three at stumps against Central Zone on the curtailed second day of the Duleep Trophy final here.

After the first day’s play was called off without a single delivery being bowled, 31.2 overs of play was possible on the second day as the proceedings started only in the final session.

At the close of play, Ishank Jaggi was batting on 3 while nightwatchman Iresh Saxena was yet to get off the mark.

Off-spinner Jalaj Saxena picked up two for 12 in his nine over spell while Bhuvneshwar Kumar got the other wicket.

Central skipper Mohammed Kaif put East Zone in to bat and their opening duo of Dheeraj Jadhav and Natraj Behera started cautiously as Praveen Kumar was pretty economical during his first spell of six overs of which four were maidens.

Jadhav and Behera added 44 runs in 16 overs in which the former Maharashtra opener’s contribution was 25.

He hit couple of boundaries off MP seamer Ishwar Pandey while his first four came off Bhuveneshwar Kumar’s bowling.

Finally, it was Saxena who trapped the left-hander leg-before in the 17th over. Jadhav had faced 60 balls for his 25. 

Skipper Behera, who opened the innings as Manish Vardhan made way for Ishank Jaggi, was a bit defensive during his knock of 22 from 61 deliveries and he paid a price for getting into a shell. There was a time after Jadhav’s dismissal, the two batsmen Behera and Majumdar couldn’t score a single run for five overs.

Thus when Saxena bowled a full-toss, Behera could only manage to offer a simple catch to Bhuvneshwar at mid-on.

Anustup Majumdar was uncomfortable right from the beginning as he got a streaky boundary past the slip to open his account. Although he hit another boundary during his knock of 13, he flicked one bowled by Bhuvneshwar onto his pads straight to square leg fielder Saxena.

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