Malolan, Abhinav rattle West Zone
West Zone 156 for 6 (Bawne 62*, Waghmode 57, Malolan 3-50) trail South Zone 600 for 9 dec (Pandey 213, Aparajith 212, Dhurv 3-183) by 444 runs
Double centuries from B Aparajith and Manish Pandey on Friday had propelled South Zone to a mammoth 553 for 7 at stumps, and Malolan added to the flurry of runs on day three with a 132-ball 58 that included four fours, as the hosts eventually declared on 600 for 9.
West Zone began their innings slowly, as the openers Wasim Jaffer and Aditya Waghmode added just 32 in the first 18 overs, before Malolan made the breakthrough, dismissing Jaffer for 11. West Zone stabilised with an 82-run second-wicket stand between Waghmode and Ankit Bawne, but three wickets in seven balls helped South Zone seize the advantage.
First, Abhinav dismissed Waghmode for a patient 57 of the second ball of the 55th over, and in his next delivery, he bowled Manpreet Juneja for a golden duck. Yusuf Pathan went in at No.5 to salvage a recovery, but was caught by Rohan Prem off left-arm spinner Aushik Srinivas in the next over, leaving West Zone precariously placed at 115 for 4.
Bawne carried on, making an unbeaten 62 with six fours, but West Zone were dealt two more late blows, as Malolan trapped both Hiken Shah and Rohit Motwani for lbw in the 74th over to finish the day with 3 for 50, and give South Zone the edge heading into the final day.