North Zone skipper Aakash Chopra was in a situation which all captains dread having four injured players in his playing eleven with his rivals on the rampage. As a result,South Zone eased into a comfortable 248-run first-innings lead which has virtually ensured their berth against West Zone in the final of the Duleep Trophy.
South opener Robin Uthappa fired a breezy 160 off 159 balls as the team added 319 by stumps,losing only three wickets,taking their overall lead to 567 runs. R Ashwin and M Suresh were batting on 66 and 8 respectively.
Earlier,the South bowlers took one session to bundle out the defending champions for 300. Overnight batsmen Sunny Sohal and Uday Kaul made 94 and 40 respectively. Sohal was aggressive and played some quality strokes. Playing with only nine batsmen,Norths tail could not do much. They sorely missed Virat Kohli and Rajat Bhatia,out with a shoulder muscle pull and back spasm respectively.
Uthappas knock made amends for his first innings no show.
Brief scores: South Zone 548 & 319/3 in 63 overs (Robin Uthappa 160,R Ashwin batting 66; S Sohal 1/8); North Zone (overnight 172/3) 300/8 in 71.2 overs: (Sunny Sohal 94,Uday Kaul 40; M Suresh 3/69).