North Zone v South Zone, Duleep Trophy semi-final, Rajkot, 2nd day January 30, 2009

North make steady reply to South's 548

Cricinfo staff

North Zone 172 for 3 (Dewan 81, Dhawan 37) trail South Zone 548 (Badrinath 200, Dravid 138, Yadav 70, Gony 3-90) by 376 runs

North Zone made a steady reply on the second day at the Madhavrao Scindia Ground, finishing 376 adrift of South Zone's massive 548 with seven wickets in hand. Arjun Yadav earlier stretched South's commanding overnight position with a half-century and the tail too contributed to the team's efforts.

South's overnight pair of Arjun Yadav and M Suresh added 37 to the overnight score of 442 before Suresh was dismissed by Manpreet Gony for 17. Yadav went on to pass his half-century and helped stretch the score past 500 before being bowled for 70 by Vikramjeet Malik. R Vinay Kumar resisted with a 87-ball 29 and his last-wicket stand of 35 with L Balaji frustrated North. Gony, Malik and Amit Mishra finished with three wickets apiece.

North's openers, Shikhar Dhawan and Rahul Dewan began strongly, adding 82 in 18 overs before R Ashwin struck, sending back Dhawan for a quick 37, which featured six fours. Dewan looked set for a century but was eventually run out for 81. It sparked yet another wicket as North lost their captain Aakash Chopra, stumped off Suresh, the Andhra legspinner. Sunny Sohal and Uday Kaul steadied the innings till stumps and North will look to their middle order to carry on and bat out the third day.