Indore: Bengal speedsters Ashok Dinda and Mohammed Shami Ahmed bowled at a brisk pace to shot Central Zone out for a paltry 133, on the first day of the Duleep Trophy final at the Holkar Stadium on Sunday.
At stumps, East Zone were 88 for three - still 46 shy of procuring the first innings lead. Anustup Majumdar (46 batting) looked in fine nick as he hit some crisp drives through off-side. Giving him company was reliable Wriddhiman Saha (14 batting).
The pitch has helped the bowlers and the duo would like to see off the first hour and then consolidate from there on.
The strip had a fair amount of juice and East Zone captain Nataraj Behera's decision to field was vindicated by Dinda (4/29) and Shami (4/73). Basant Mohanty complemented the duo picking two useful wickets with his military medium stuff.
Although Dinda had the best figures, Bengal youngster Shami, who played his first Duleep Trophy match impressed one and all with his lively pace although he went for few runs.
At the start, Central opener Naman Ojha (44, 80 balls, 7x4) had to retire when he got hit in the abdominal region by a Dinda delivery. Mohammed Kaif (9) joined Rajasthan opener Vineet Saxena (3, 48 balls), who was again showing his dogged nature.
Dinda finally provided breakthrough in the seventh over of his first spell when Kaif was done in by Dinda's pace and was adjudged leg-before.
Shami coming in as one-change finally ended Saxena's painstaking knock as the Ranji Trophy final hero was bowled.
At 23 for two, Ojha came back to join Mohnish Mishra (21, 74 balls, 3x4) and the duo then cautiously added 59 runs for the third wicket before Mohanty's probing channel bowling paid dividends.
Mishra finally edged one to give Wriddhiman his second catch of the match and in the very next over, it was Shami, who induced an edge from Ojha to reduce Central to 86 for four.
All eyes were on Robin Bist (1) but he failed to make an impact as he flicked one off Shami to Dinda at mid-wicket. At 91 for five, there wasn't much left. Central skipper Piyush Chawla (26, 24 balls, 3x4, 1x6) started throwing his bat as the home team crossed the three-figure mark. But it was Dinda coming back for his second spell Buvenaeshwar Kumar, Rituraj Singh and Chawla to take is wicket-tally for the season to 56.
Brief Scores: Central Zone 133 (Naman Ojha 44, Md Shami Ahmed 4/73, Ashok Dinda 4/29).
East Zone 88/3 (A Majumdar 46 batting).