Only ten overs were possible on the second day of the Duleep Trophy final and, in the brief session post tea, North Zone reduced South to 33 for 2, at the Nehru stadium, in Kochi, on Friday.
While South Zone opted to bat, North suffered a setback as India discard Gautam Gambhir had to fly back to Delhi as he was down with viral fever.
However, another out-of-favour India opener Virender Sehwag is in the Harbhajan Singh-led side.
North pacers Mohit Sharma and Siddharth Kaul struck immediately when play started, dismissing openers Lokesh Rahul (9) and Abhinav Mukund (7) respectively.
While Rahul mistimed a pull-shot off a rising delivery from Haryana pacer Mohit, Mukund was cleaned up by Kaul with a delivery that cut back sharply and uprooted the middle-stump.
Wicketkeeper C M Gautham (batting 8) was at the crease, with the in-form Baba Aparajith, who is yet to open his account.
Poor drainage system at the ground has cost the match nearly two days’ play. Despite bright sunshine since Thursday afternoon, umpires Suresh Shastri and Sanjay Hazare found it difficult to commence proceedings because of the heavy outfield which was not conducive for competitive cricket.
South Zone: 33-2 (Lokesh Rahul 9, Mohit Sharma 1-11, Siddharth Kaul 1-13) vs North Zone.