Central Zone will have an eye on the scoreboard on the final day of the weather-hit Duleep Trophy quarters against the East Zone.
Riding on an unbeaten double hundred (202) from skipper Mohammed Kaif, Central declared their first innings at 480 for 8. East Zone, in reply, were 64 for 1 before bad light stopped play 24 minutes before time.
Interestingly, even though there’s little chance of East Zone overhauling their total, the latter still have a chance of entering the semis. In case, East Zone play out the whole day and manage a better run rate than Central, who scored their runs at a rate of 3.84, they will make it to the semis even without overhauling Central Zone’s total.
On Thursday, the match again had a delayed start due to bad weather. Kaif started in the same vein and went on to notch up a double hundred. He had 64-run partnership with Naman Ojha before declaring the innings at 480 for 8.
East Zone, in reply, started cautiously to see off the early burst from the experienced duo of R.P. Singh and Pankaj Singh. Openers Dhiraj Jadhav and Arindam Das had added 64 for the first wicket when Sanjay Bangar forced an edge off Jadhav’s blade and Kaif accepted it with glee in the slips.
On Friday, Central Zone bowlers will need to bowl with a lot of discipline to keep the batsmen on a tight leash.
Their job will become even more difficult if the weather continues to play spoilsport.
The East Zone batsmen will obviously look to up the tempo to get to a better run than their opponents and cruise into the semifinals.