Cuttack: Despite a century by Mohammad Kaif and half centuries by Naman Ojha and DN Bundela, Central Zone was restricted to 390 all out, giving 37-run first innings lead to East Zone on the third day of their Duleep Trophy quarterfinal match at Barabati Stadium here on Friday.
Resuming at their overnight score of 169 for three, Central Zone started batting on a promising note as Kaif moved on from 78 to grab 105 runs before being bowled by Ashok Dinda.
His century included 16 hits to the fence. However, Ojha managed to add only three runs to his overnight 50 as he was caught by A R Sahoo off East Zone pacer Basant Mohanty for 53 runs.
Run collection by Central Zone surged ahead with DN Bundela contributing a valuable 80 runs aided by eleven hits to the boundary before he was caught behind by WP Saha off Basant Mohanty. Bundela stuck around for 314 minutes facing 191 balls giving stability to the team's batting.
Also noteworthy was Murli Kartik's contribution as he made a useful 43 with the help of seven fours in 95 minutes facing 65 balls.
East Zone's Basant Mohanty and Ashok Dinda captured four wickets each while AR Sahoo grabbed two.
With a 37 run first innings lead, East Zone suffered early debacle in their second innings batting as opener SP Goswami was bowled by RP Singh for five. East Zone score stood at 24 for one at the close of the day's play as IR Jaggi and NJ Behera were at 12 and seven respectively.
East Zone 427 and 24/1; Central Zone 390
IR Jaggi 12*N Behera 7*RP Singh 5-2-9-1Pankaj Singh 4-1-15-0
Stumps on Day 3;
East Zone lead by 61 runs with 9 wickets remaining