Bangalore:Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman flopped with the bat but Team India discard Dinesh Karthik slammed a whirlwind 153 as South Zone posted 329 before being shot out by Central Zone on the opening day of the Duleep Trophy cricket match on Thursday.
In reply, Central Zone were 30 for no loss at stumps with Tanmay Srivastava (13) and Shivakant Shukla (11) in the middle and the side still 299 runs behind South's first innings total.
Laxman's decision to bat first at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium boomeranged this morning and South Zone slumped to 86 for six before Karthik and M Suresh (58 not out) propped them up to a decent score.
Unheralded Vidarbha pacer Umesh Yadav turned out to be the pick of the Central Zone bowlers, claiming five for 76 and his scalps included former India captain Rahul Dravid (7) and Laxman (13).
With the likes of Robin Uthappa (22), Dravid, Laxman and S Badrinath (13) failing to shine with the bat, South Zone owed it to Karthik and Suresh as the side managed to cross the 300-mark before eventually folding in 73.5 overs.
Karthik's blistering 153 came off just 113 balls with 24 fours and four sixes in it.
He put on 146 runs for the eighth wicket with Suresh, who eventually ran out of partners and remained unbeaten on 58 off 92 balls with the help of seven fours.
Thanks to Karthik's whirlwind knock, South Zone scored at a brisk 4.45 run per over rate.
Abhinav Mukund (13) and Uthappa gave South a sedate start this morning and added 46 runs in 12-odd overs when Pankaj Singh dealt double blows, removing both in successive overs.
Yadav then took the centrestage and wrecked the middle and top order with his five-wicket haul that left South Zone staring at abyss.
Yadav removed Dravid, Arjun Yadav (3), Laxman and R Ashwin (23), while Bhuvneshwar Kumar too chipped in with the important wicket of Badrinath.
Gasping for breath at 144 for seven, South Zone found its saviour in Karthik who, in company of Suresh, decided to take the attack to the opposition camp and came hard after the Central bowlers.
Karthik scored at will and was savaged at the Central bowlers, especially Parvinder Singh.
Finally, Bhuvneshwar struck in the 59th over to remove Karthik and then Yadav castled L Balaji to complete his five-wicket haul.
Murali Kartik dropped curtains on the innings when he trapped S Sreesanth (8).