Duleep Trophy semi-finals, 2013, 4th day October 12, 2013

Ojha leads South Zone to final

ESPNcricinfo staff

Pragyan Ojha led South Zone into the final of the Duleep trophy with a six-wicket haul that downed Central Zone by an innings and 38 runs in Chennai.

A lead of 258 proved more than enough cushion for Ojha to undo the Central Zone top-order. Robin Bist nicked to the keeper in the 34th over, becoming the first of four wickets in eight overs - and Ojha picked up all of them. Vineet Saxena was among the batsmen dismissed, but not before he had collected 67 runs off 128 balls with 10 fours.

Piyush Chawla's counterattack stood between South Zone and an outright victory, but his 56-ball 73 only delayed the inevitable. Offspinner B Aparajith broke the 87-run eighth-wicket partnership between Chawla and Imtiaz Ahmed - the highest of the innings - and added a second wicket when Shrikant Wagh holed out an over later. With Mohammad Kaif unavailable to bat, because of a sore right ankle, Ojha had the last man Umesh Yadav caught by Aparajith to complete the victory.

South Zone will be boosted by the presence of Dinesh Karthik and Stuart Binny for the final, due to begin on October 17. Karthik will take the place of batsman Rohan Prem, who had injured his hand while fielding, while Binny has been named in place of medium-pacer Sandeep Warrier.

The other semi-final between North Zone and East Zone was pushed into the reserve day after persistent rain, on the fourth day, forced play to be abandoned without a ball being bowled. East Zone are 32 for 1 after 14 overs, still 559 runs behind, and should the first-innings remain incomplete at the end of the game, the winner will be decided by a coin toss.