South Zone 400 (Dinesh Karthik 183, Irfan Pathan 5-100) and 42 for 0 lead West Zone 251 (Yusuf 108, Ganapathy 5-75) by 191 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
A five-wicket haul by the Tamil Nadu seamer C Ganapathy overshadowed an exciting counter-attacking century by Yusuf Pathan as South Zone took firm control against West Zone on the second day in Hyderabad. South were bowled out for 400 and when Ganapathy made inroads into the top order, a big first-innings lead was in the offing. Yusuf resisted in breath-taking fashion, but West still fell short of the total by 149.
South's captain Dinesh Karthik resumed on his overnight 161 and ultimately fell for 183. Irfan Pathan was again among the wickets in the morning and he went on to take his 14th first-class five-wicket haul when he sent Aushik Srinivas' off stump for a spin to end the innings. West needed a strong start after conceding 400 but lost their openers by the fifth over, both to Ganapathy. A lot hinged on Wasim Jaffer to pilot the innings but he misjudged a good delivery by Ganapathy, which shaped in and deflected to the slips off his glove as he tried to leave the ball. Bhavik Thaker was squared up by another peach, which shaved his off stump as he played down the wrong line.
West were desperately in need of repair work at 70 for 4 and Yusuf chose attack as the best form of defence. He wasn't afraid to loft over the infield each time the ball was pitched up. He smashed five sixes, peppering four over the bowler's head and one down to fine leg. West needed a couple of big partnerships after their early setback but they couldn't manage a single half-century stand. It was an exciting passage of play after lunch when Yusuf took on the bowling, before the bowlers hit back.
Srinivas, the left-arm spinner, took the prize scalp after Yusuf had reached 108, trapping him in front. Irfan and Ramesh Powar got off to starts, playing some fluent drives off the front foot, but perished to Alfred Absolem and Ganapathy respectively. Ganapathy hurried the batsmen with his pace and was aptly rewarded with a five-wicket haul. The lower order took the score past 250 before the South openers stretched the lead to 191. With three days to go, this was South's game to lose.