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January 29, 2011
South Zone beat Central Zone by 552 runs - the highest ever margin in a first-class match in India - at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. Central had shown little interest in the match after South had taken a 265-run first innings lead. Set 770 to win, Central crumbled to 217 all out early on the fourth day, handing South a record-breaking win and some extra time to prepare for the final.
A draw would have been of little consequence to Central, as they would have been knocked out on the first-innings lead anyway. But South managed to bowl them out in just 32 overs on the fourth day. R Vinay Kumar was the chief destroyer for South, taking four wickets, while left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha took three scalps. Ashok Menaria got his second half-century of the match, and wicketkeeper Naman Ojha got 55, but the rest of Central's batsmen surrendered meekly.
Having secured their place in the finals by taking the first-innings lead on Friday, North Zone used the last day of their semi-final against West Zone at the Moti Bagh Stadium in Vadodara for some batting practice. Mithun Manhas helped himself to an unbeaten century, hitting 26 boundaries on the way to 158 off 178 balls. Sumit Narwal's excellent match continued as he followed up his first-innings half-century with another one in the second, and North scored 421.
Seamer Samad Fallah and left-arm spinner Bharghav Bhatt took four wickets each for West. They then batted out 23 overs and reached 61 for 3. North will take on South Zone in the five-day final from February 2 to 6 in Vishakhapatnam.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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