Duleep Trophy semi-finals, 1st day February 4, 2012

Kaif, Saha tons revive Central, East

ESPNcricinfo staff

Wriddhiman Saha, back from a decent performance in the Adelaide Test against Australia, put East Zone in a strong position against North Zone with an unbeaten century in Delhi. East began with a 60-run stand between openers Dheeraj Jadhav and Manish Vardhan but soon found themselves in some trouble. Rajat Bhatia trapped Vardhan leg-before and Jadhav was bowled by Parvinder Awana in the next over. The score became 60 for 3 when Bhatia dismissed Natraj Behera for a duck. Saha and Ishank Jaggi then settled into a big partnership for the fourth wicket which ended only in the penultimate over of the day. The pair had put on 194 at a healthy rate when Jaggi fell to Harshal Patel for 86. Saha was batting on 100 with 12 boundaries as East finished on 258 for 4.

Mohammad Kaif helped Central Zone recover with an unbeaten hundred against South Zone in Chennai. Central put in a disappointing performance after choosing to bat, with only No. 8 Piyush Chawla making more than 30 apart from Kaif. Abhimanyu Mithun bowled Naman Ojha for 9 in the ninth over, after which Central's specialist batsmen were unable to build any partnership of note. When Robin Bist, the highest run-getter in the recent Ranji Trophy, was bowled by KP Appanna for 5, Central slipped to 90 for 4. Parvinder Singh and Jalaj Saxena managed starts but could not support Kaif for long. It was down to Chawla, who smashed eight boundaries in his 52 off 54 deliveries, to revive the stuttering innings. Stuart Binny limited the stand between Chawla and Kaif to 73 when he had the former caught by Robin Uthappa. Kaif remained unbeaten on 108 off 207 deliveries with Central ending on 292 for 8.