East Zone lost their top order batsmen after a cautious start and ended a rain-curtailed Day 2 in the Duleep Trophy final against Central Zone on 64 for 3 in Chennai, on Monday.
After the first day's play was called off without a delivery being bowled, 31.2 overs of play was possible on the second day as the proceedings commenced only in the final session.
At the close of play, Ishank Jaggi was unbeaten on 3 and night-watchman Iresh Saxena yet to get off the mark.
Off-spinner Jalaj Saxena claimed two wickets for 12 in a nine-over spell while Bhuvneshwar Kumar got the other wicket.
Central skipper Mohammed Kaif put East Zone in to bat and their opening duo of Dheeraj Jadhav and Natraj Behera started cautiously as Praveen Kumar was pretty economical during his first spell of six overs, four of which were maidens.
Jadhav and Behera added 44 runs in 16 overs, in which the former Maharashtra opener's contribution was 25. He hit couple of boundaries off MP seamer Ishwar Pandey while his first four came off Bhuveneshwar Kumar's bowling.
Finally, it was Saxena who trapped the left-hander leg-before in the 17th over. Jadhav faced 60 balls for his 25.
Skipper Behera, who opened the innings as Manish Vardhan made way for Ishank Jaggi, was a bit defensive during his knock of 22 from 61 deliveries and he paid the price for getting into a shell. There was a time after Jadhav's dismissal when the two batsmen, Behera and Majumdar, couldn't score a single run for five overs.
Thus, when Saxena bowled a full-toss, Behera could only offer a simple catch to Bhuvneshwar at mid-on.
Anustup Majumdar was uncomfortable from the beginning as he got a streaky boundary past the slip to open his account. Although he hit another boundary during his knock of 13, he flicked one bowled by Bhuvneshwar onto his pads straight to square leg fielder Saxena.
East Zone 64-3 in 31.2 overs (D Jadhav 25, N Behera 22, J Saxena 2/12) vs Central Zone.