Saxena, Ojha lift Central to position of strength
Central Zone 344 for 3 (Saxena 110, Ojha 122*, Menaria 53) v North Zone
Centuries by Jalaj Saxena and Naman Ojha lifted Central Zone to a strong 344 for 3 at stumps against North Zone. Dropped catches compounded North's woes, with Ojha given lives on 12 and 27 by Parvinder Awana and wicketkeeper Nitin Saini, Saxena let off on 75 by Saini, and Ashok Menaria close to stumps, when he was on 52, by Jiwanjot Singh.
Opening the batting after Central opted to bat, Saxena laid a solid platform by adding 55 for the first wicket with Faiz Fazal and 42 for the second with Robin Bist before Ojha came to the crease at 97 for 2. Saxena and Ojha put on 140 for the third wicket, scoring their runs at close to four runs an over, before Rishi Dhawan had Saxena caught behind for a 187-ball 110. That was North's last success of the day, as Ojha and Menaria extended Central's score by a further 107 runs. At stumps, Ojha was batting on 122 off 193 balls and Menaria on 53 off 93.