North Zone v South Zone, Duleep Trophy semi-final, Rajkot, 3rd day January 31, 2009

Uthappa's 160 shuts out North

Cricinfo staff

South Zone 458 and 319 for 3 (Uthappa 160, Ashwin 66*) lead North Zone 300 (Sohal 94) by 567 runs

Powered by Robin Uthappa's rapid century, South Zone shut North Zone out of contention for a place in the Duleep Trophy final. Having failed to inspire with the bat in South's previous match in his home city of Bangalore and picking up 1 in the first innings in Rajkot, Uthappa blasted 160 from 159 balls against a lacklustre North attack.

When the day began, South's lead was 376. North were 172 for 3, but without the services of key batsmen Virat Kohli and Rajat Bhatia, who were unable to bat due to injuries. The overnight pair of Sunny Sohal and Uday Kaul were not able to add much more to their stand, and was once Kaul was out for 40 there was little resistance from the rest. Sohal continued on to 94, scored from 99 balls, and the last two wickets fell with the total on 300.

S Badrinath, South's capain, did not enforce a follow-on and decided to bat again and South were given a brisk start. Abhinav Mukund (31 from 36 balls) helped add 58 in good time with Uthappa, and then Dinesh Karthik chipped in with 39 from 52 balls. Uthappa blasted 19 fours and three sixes in his innings, adding 139 with offspinner R Ashwin, who was unbeaten on 66 at stumps. Uthappa's strokeful innings came to an end when he tried to lift part-time bowler Sohal over cover but holed out to Shikhar Dhawan.