Skipper Subramanium Badrinath notched up a crucial 136 as South Zone took control of the Duleep Trophy final against North Zone, posting 477 in their first innings in Visakhapatnam on Friday.
Badrinath led from the front, playing the role of a sheet-anchor and starred in a 119-run fourth wicket partnership with B Sumanth (48), to surpass North Zone's first innings total of 337 on the fourth day.
Abhimanyu Mithun (26), Pragyan Ojha (21) and S Aravind (11) chipped in with useful contributions to help South Zone take a healthy 140-run lead.
In their second innings, North Zone were 50 for one with Ojha removing opener Shikhar Dhawan (19).
N Saini (21) and Mandeep Singh (9) were at the crease when stumps were drawn at the Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium.
Earlier, resuming their first innings at 298 for three, overnight batsman Badrinath added another 39 runs to his score of 97. He hit 12 fours and two sixes in his 208-ball innings.
Sumanth gave the skipper good support at the other end and cracked seven boundaries before his innings was cut short by Narwal, whose low-bounce delivery rattled the timber.
A few overs later, Badrinath was run out by Ishant Sharma after Amit Verma fielded the ball and sent it straight to the bowler who made no mistake in taking off the bails.
Ishant struck again, dismissing C Gautam (9) and R Vinay Kumar (0) in consecutive overs at the same score of 386. Joginder Sharma then got rid off Mithun, while Yashpal Singh had Ojha stumped by Uday Kaul.
North Zone: 337 & 50/1 in 23 overs (N Saini 21; P Ojha 1/21).
South Zone 1st innings: 477 all out in 132.2 overs (S Badrinath 136 B Sumanth 48; Joginder Sharma 3/66, S Narwal 3/89).
Ishant, Uthappa fined 100 per cent match fee for quarrelling
Paceman Ishant Sharma and explosive batsman Robin Uthappa were on Friday fined 100 per cent of their match fee for misdemeanour during the second day's play of the Duleep Trophy final in Visakhapatnam on Friday.
The two players were involved in an altercation when Sharma was bowling and Uthappa tried to take a single. The two players collided in the middle of the pitch and started an argument. They had to be separated by the umpires.