The Baroda paceman, ignored by the national selectors for the ongoing One-day series against Sri Lanka, speared through the Central batting after they were 95 for one at one stage.
Central were shot out for 206, with major contributions coming from opener Amit Pagis (32), skipper Mohammad Kaif (56), who batted at number three, and number five Abbas Ali (45), asZaheer finished with an impressive 6 for 54.
In reply, West were 104 for 2 after recovering from a difficult 38 for two, the openers, Dheeraj Jadhav and Satyajit Parab, falling cheaply.
An attractive unbeaten 58 from Mumbai opener Wasim Jaffer and his unfinished third-wicket stand of 66 runs with Baroda's Jacob Martin (19 not out) saw them through the day.
Central Zone (1st innings):
S Bangar c Jadhav b Zaheer 6A Pagnis st P Patel b Powar 32M Kaif c M Patel b Bahutule 56J Yadav c P Patel b Powar 4Abbas Ali c P Patel b Zaheer 45D Bundela b Zaheer 8N Ojha lbw Zaheer 0P Chawla c Jaffer b Zaheer 2Harvinder Singh c Jaffer b Powar 0P Gupta c Jaffer b Zaheer 11Kulmani Parida not out 5
Extras: (b 5, lb 14, nb 18) 37
Total: (All out) 206
Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-95, 3-100, 4-141, 5-168, 6-170, 7-179, 8-181, 9-187.
Bowling: Zaheer Khan 17.4-5-54-6, Rakesh Patel 7-1-17-0, Munaf Patel 5-1-17-0, Ramesh Powar 20-3-68-3, Sairaj Bahutule 10-0-31-1.
West Zone (1st innings):
Dheeraj Jadhav b Harvinder Singh 1S Parab c Bangar b Gupta 23Wasim Jaffer batting 58Jacob Martin batting 19
Extras: (b 2, w 1) 3
Total: (For 2 wickets) 104
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-38
Bowling: Harvinder Singh 9-0-38-1, Sanjay Bangar 6-2-13-0, Praveen Gupta 8-1-33-1, Kulamani Parida 3-0-11-0, Piyush Chawla 3-1-3-0, Abbas Ali 1-0-4-0.