South Zone thrash Central; enter Duleep Trophy finals

Hyderabad: R Vinay Kumar wrecked havoc with a four-wicket haul as South Zone humiliated Central Zone by 552 runs to set up a summit clash with North Zone in the Duleep Trophy here on Saturday.

Needing an improbable 770 runs to win the match, Central Zone were bundled out for 217 in their second innings on the fourth and final day of the match here.

Placed precariously at 73 for two overnight, Central Zone never seemed to be in the hunt and barring Naman Ojha (55) and Ashok Menaria, none of the visiting batsmen could offer any resistance.

Mohnish Mishra was the first Central Zone wicket to fall after adding just eight runs to his overnight score of 30. Mishra`s departure, however, came after he and Ojha combined for a 75-run stand for the fourth wicket.

After Nama Ojha was bowled by Pragyan Ojha after a breezy 67-ball knock -- that included nine boundaries and a six --the Central Zone`s innings also began to collapse although Menaria and Devendra Bundela (29) delayed the imminent with their contributions.

Menaria`s was an entertaining knock that came off just 47 balls which was studded with five boundaries and four sixes.

But Vinay Kumar snapped up both Bundela and Menaria and the lower half of the Central Zone batting failed to make any noteworthy contribution as South cruised to a comfortable win.

Central Zone were without key batsman Mohammad Kaif who retired hurt yesterday itself.

Brief Scores:

South Zone: 443 and 504 for 7 decl in 100.3 overs (Abhinav Mukund 164, Amit Verma 148; Umesh Yadav 2/63)

Central Zone: 178 and 217 all out in 47.1 overs (Naman Ojha 55, Ashok Menaria 63; R Vinay Kumar 4/36).