Duleep Trophy 2003-04 February 17, 2004

Kanitkar leads the West Zone crawl

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Close of 3rd day West Zone 163 for 1 (Kanitkar 78*, Jadhav 64*) trail Central Zone 549 (Khoda 156, Yadav 80) by 386 runs

Hrishikesh Kanitkar anchored a dreary effort by West Zone, who began their reply to Central Zone's 549 intent on securing the first-innings lead without taking any risks whatsoever. Kanitkar made 78 not out as West Zone crawled to 163 for 1 off 82 overs, with Dhiraj Jadhav unbeaten on a Boycottesque 64 off 259 balls.

Earlier in the day, Central Zone added just 17 runs to their overnight total, as Munaf Patel, who had been wicketless on the first two days of the match, cleaned up the tail to finish with 3 for 82. Vinayak Mane was out early in the West Zone innings, making 10 off 11 balls, with two fours, an innings that seemed like a thunderous cameo compared to the dour defence that followed.

Close of 3rd day South Zone 304 for 8 (Ramesh 57, Joshi 51) trail East Zone 388 by 84 runs

East Zone took the upper hand against the more fancied South Zone, at Dharmasala, as South Zone ended the third day on 304 for 8, still a daunting 84 runs behind their opponents' total. It representated a comeback of sorts, though. At one stage, they had been 159 for 6, before a 90-run partnership between S Sharath (48) and Sunil Joshi (51) brought them back into the game. Both batsmen were out with more than an hour left in the day's play, but R Ramkumar (19 not out) and NP Singh (29 not out) kept their hopes alive with an unbeaten 46-run partnership.