Central Zone 478 (Pagnis 142, Yadav 87) and 52 for 2 beat South Zone 265 (Karthik 51) and 261 (Sriram 136*) by 8 wickets

Sridharan Sriram cracked a fighting hundred but South Zone crumbled at Surat © Getty Images

Sridharan Sriram's valiant unbeaten 136 went in vain as Central Zone, set to chase a paltry target of 49, sauntered to an emphatic eight-wicket victory in the Duleep Trophy clash at Surat. Kulamani Parida, the Railways offspinner, and Piyush Chawla, the legspinner from Uttar Pradesh who had an impressive first-class debut, snapped up three wickets apiece as South were bundled out for 261 on the fourth day.

Only Lakshmipathy Balaji (32) offered Sriram some support as the rest of line-up crumbled against the spinners. Amit Pagnis, the Railways opener who had set things up with a fine 142 in the first innings, then charged to the target with a breezy 31 off 17 balls.

This was the second consecutive loss for South, after a heavy defeat against West earlier, and they will have no further part to play in the tournament. Meanwhile Central will face West in a virtual semi-final at Aurangabad, starting on November 4.