Yadav's ton reduces East Zone advantage
West Zone 299 for 7 (Suryakumar Yadav 134, Pujara 55, Abu Nechim 3-56) v East Zone
Suryakumar Yadav rescued West Zone from a top-order collapse with a brisk century, but East Zone still held the edge on the first day of the Duleep Trophy quarter-final in Valsad.
East Zone's bowlers had first use of the pitch after Natraj Behera won the toss and they made early inroads. Ashok Dinda struck first, bowling Harshad Khadiwale in the fifth over, and Basant Mohanty dismissed the other opener, Kaustabh Pawar, reducing West Zone to 20 for 2. The runs were hard to come by as well and the early run-rate was below two an over. Abu Nechim then struck two blows in quick time, leaving West Zone in trouble at 41 for 4.
Cheteshwar Pujara, the captain, and Yadav steadied the innings and their 153-run stand for the fifth wicket gave West Zone a solid platform to build from. East Zone, however, dismissed both set batsmen within a short time of each other. Pujara made 55 off 107 deliveries before he became Abu Nechim's third wicket. Shahbaz Nadeen then had Yadav caught behind for 134 off only 137 balls, with 23 fours and a six.
West Zone were stumbling again at 233 for 6, when Rohit Motwani and Akshay Darekar added 66 for the seventh wicket. Motwani did not survive until stumps though, and West Zone ended on 299 for 7.