West Zone 274 and 2 for 0 trail North Zone 340 (Bhatia 84, Yashpal Singh 59, Trivedi 6-67) by 64 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
On a roller coaster day at the Wankhede Stadium, where fortunes kept swinging from one side to the other, North Zone managed to grab a slight advantage with a 66-run lead. Siddharth Trivedi left North reeling at 97 for 4 with an incisive spell of seam bowling before Rajat Bhatia and Yashpal Singh added 128 for the fifth wicket to steer them out of trouble. Another mini-collapse left North on par with West before VRV Singh and Ashok Thakur charged them to a valuable lead.
The drama started with the first ball of the day. Trivedi had Aakash Chopra edging to third slip before he prised out Karan Goel for a duck in the same over. In a blink, North were limping at 53 for 2. Cue Shikhar Dhawan and Mithun Manhas, to try and start the repair job.
Trivedi continued to move the ball both ways while the other bowlers maintained the pressure with a disciplined bowling performance and eventually, the pressure started to tell. Dhawan fell trying to cut Trivedi and Manhas, trying to be aggressive, nicked a loose drive behind and North were struggling at 97 for 4.
In walked Bhatia, who had scored a century in the Ranji Trophy final to save Delhi from a precarious position, and he proceeded to repeat the rescue act here. The pair of Bhatia and Yashpal started off in an uncertain manner, playing and missing quite a lot. Sandeep Jobanputra was the unlucky bowler as he went past the outside edge, especially Yashpal's, on many occasions. Slowly, as the sun came out and the wicket lost its sting, they prospered. Bhatia was strong on his legs, whipping anything full through midwicket while Yashpal started to connect with his drives.
The second session belonged to North as the pair pulled away before Parthiv Patel, West's captain, got into the act. With seven men on the leg side, he told Rakesh Dhruv to bowl from over the wickets to an outside-leg-stump line, tempting the batsmen to go inside-out to the offside. After resisting initially and padding away those deliveries, the pair started to go for the shots and it led to Yashpal's dismissal. He went down the track and heaved straight to mid-off. Dhruv went on to induce a nick off Uday Kaul.
The new ball got rid of Amit Mishra, Bhatia, top-edging a hook, and Vikramjeet Malik in quick succession leaving North at 274 for 9. With the scores level, VRV swung his bat merrily while Thakur played conservatively to push the scores along. The field spread out and VRV wisely started to pick singles and the lead crept past 60 before he was stumped off Dhruv.
Wasim Jaffer and Sahil Kukreja saw out two patient overs to finish the day with West 2 for 0.