Chennai: Opener Tanmay Srivastava kept Central Zone's hopes of Duleep Trophy title alive with a patient 46 not out as his side ended the fourth day of the summit clash against East Zone at 74 for 2 in their first innings here on Wednesday.
Srivastava had already consumed 126 balls in his knock after resuming the day at individual score of seven and team total of 12 for no loss at M A Chidambaram Stadium.
The start of the fourth day was also delayed by rain and only 34 overs could be bowled today. The first day was washed out without a ball being bowled, while the second and third days had seen 31.2 and 70.3 overs being played, respectively.
With just a day remaining in the match, the winner of Duleep Trophy is heading to be decided on the basis of first innings lead. Central Zone now need 159 runs to win the title with eight first innings wickets in hand.
Srivastava and his opening partner Vineet Saxena, who resumed the day on five, added another 56 runs in 27.3 overs today before the latter was out for 22 at the team score of 68. Srivastava has scored five fours in his innings so far while Saxena hit four boundaries.
Central Zone suffered a jolt just three balls before the draw of stumps when captain Mohammad Kaif was dismissed for two in an LBW decision of the bowling of left-arm spinner Iresh Saxena, who took both the wickets on Wednesday.
Robin Bist was giving company to Srivastava without opening account at the close of the fourth day's play.
East Zone 1st Innings: 232 all out in 101.5 overs
Central Zone 1st Innings: 74 for 2 in 36 overs (Tanmay Srivastava not out 46; Iresh Saxena 2 for 23).