Duleep Trophy: East Zone in a better position

Cuttack: Despite an impressive start, East Zone faced batting debacle losing five wickets for 99 runs to end up at 427 all out in the first innings of their Duleep Trophy quarter final match against Central Zone at Barabati Stadium here on Thursday.

It turned out to be an uphill task for Central Zone as it lost three quick wickets with the score board reading 55. But its batsmen fought back to put up a decent 169 for three at the close of second day`s play.

East Zone, resuming from their overnight sore of 328 for 5, added only 99 runs to take their first innings score to 427 as its batsmen failed to stick around though Wriddhiman Saha, who was not out with 18 yesterday, grabbed valuable 69 runs before being run out.

Saha`s 69 included 11 hits to the fence and one over it as he batted for 148 minutes facing 98 balls.

With a dismal beginning, Central Zone lost a wicket when the team was yet to open its account and the second wicket fell as the score board read just four.

Opener Aaakash Chopra was caught behind of Ashok Dinda while his partner Monish Mishra was out without opening account. He was also caught behind by keeper Wriddhiman Saha off Basant Mohanty. The third wicket fell at 55 when Hrishikesh Kanitkar was caught by Natraj Behera off Iresh Saxena for 29.

A new lease of life was infused to Central Zone`s batting when Mohd Kaif took command collecting valuable 78 runs aided by 12 hits to the boundary. Kaif was assisted by Naman Ojha who scored a patient 50 as both were at the crease at the end of second day`s play with the team`s score board reading 169 for three.

For East Zone, Ashok Dinda, Basant Mohanty and Iresh Saxena captured a wicket apiece.

Brief Score: East Zone (First Innings): 427 for 10 wickets
Central Zone (First Innings: 169 for 3 wickets.