Dinda stars as East Zone take control
In a contest of fightbacks, East Zone edged ahead of North Zone in Delhi. East came back strongly on the third day and gained a slender but significant first-innings lead. North were well positioned at 162 for 3 at stumps on the second day, in response to East's 315, but Ashok Dinda tilted the scales with a career-best performance. He removed the overnight batsmen Mayank Sidhana and Paras Dogra, and dislodged the lower order to finish with 8 for 123 in 38 overs. From 211 for 4, North slipped to 287 all out, conceding a lead of 28 runs. East ensured the advantage didn't slip. Opener Manish Vardhan scored an unbeaten half-century and Anustup Majumdar was going strong with him in a stand of 75, as East reached 120 for 1 at the close, stretching their lead to 148.
Central Zone have batted South Zone out of the Duleep Trophy semi-final at Chepauk, virtually sealing their place in the tournament final. Central had stretched their lead to 237 at the end of the second day, and finished at 378 for 5 on the third - the lead extending further to 488. Naman Ojha, who was on 79 overnight, went on to score his eighth first-class century. Robin Bist, the highest run-getter in the Ranji Trophy, continued his prolific run, scoring another ton, and at a fair clip. He was unbeaten on 104 at stumps off 178 balls, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (59*) was supporting him in a 160-run stand for the sixth wicket.