Natraj Behera ton steadies East Zone
East Zone 183 for 4 (Behera 102*) trail West Zone 314 (Suryakumar Yadav 134, Pujara 55, Dinda 4-85) by 131 runs
The Duleep Trophy quarter-final in Valsad remained in the balance as neither West Zone or East Zone were able to take a grip on the game by the end of the second day. Like West Zone had relied on Suryakumar Yadav, East Zone depended on their captain Natraj Behera to ensure they were not in danger of conceding a sizeable first-innings lead.
East Zone's innings began poorly, with opener Manish Vardhan edging behind for 1, leaving the score 1 for 1. Then followed a steadying 98-run stand between Dheeraj Jadhav and Behera. Jadhav made 38 before he too was caught behind, and West Zone dismissed Ishank Jaggi for a duck soon after. Behera put on 80 more with Biplab Samantray to lift his team from 100 for 3. Samantray fell just before stumps, though, and Behera remained unbeaten on 102 as West Zone reached 183 for 4. Behera faced 246 balls and hit only 13 fours, and will want to take his team to a lead on the third day.
The second day had begun with West Zone on 299 for 7 and the tail did not last long. They added 15 more and were dismissed for 314. Ashok Dinda finished with 4 for 85 and Abu Nechim took 3 for 61.