Jaffer and Rahane keep West's hopes alive
England Lions 14 for 1 (Carberry 5*, Joyce 5*) and 355 trail West Zone 494 (Rahane 172, Jaffer 151, Parthiv 59, Rashid 3-88, Panesar 3-106) by 125 runs
Big tons from overnight batsmen Ajinkya Rahane and Wasim Jaffer left West Zone with an outside chance of qualifying for the final. West, who need to win against the England Lions to top the group, finished their first innings at 494, a lead of 139. At 14 for 1, the Lions still look poised to force a draw and make it to the final.
West Zone resumed on 187 for 1 and both Rahane and Jaffer went on to score hundreds. The duo added another 155 runs and the 342-run stand for the second wicket before Steve Kirby got rid of Rahane, who made 172. His knock included 26 fours. Jaffer followed soon after; Kirby was the successful bowler yet again as the opener, who was dropped from India's playing XI for the final Test in Adelaide, fell for 151.
Yusuf Pathan, who was sent up the order to boost the scoring-rate and the lead, blitzed 29 from 21 balls while Parthiv Patel, the West Zone captain, made a brisk 58. The Lions spinners took advantage as the batsmen tried to make quick runs. Both Monty Panesar and Adil Rashid grabbed three wickets apiece as the last seven wickets fell for 103 runs. The two bowlers got their wickets in identical manner as well, with two bowled and one lbw.
In the 12 overs before close of play, the Lions lost the wicket of Michael Yardy, who made 169 in the first innings - the only score above 50. Despite trailing West by 125, the Lions would still be favourites to reach the final with one day remaining.