Displaying fine form once again ahead of the Pakistan series, Yuvraj Singh hit a 110 and Virender Sehwag a quickfire 79 to take North Zone to a strong 497 for 9 on the second day of the Duleep Trophy league match against South Zone in Indore on Wednesday.
The batting heorics of the North Zone batsmen also helped the team take a 159-run lead after they had bowled out South Zone for 338 in the morning.
Gautam Gambhir (52, 4x6) also played a useful knock as he joined forces with Sehwag to put on 118 runs for the first wicket.
Sehwag despatched the ball in all directions to display his firepower and announce his intentions ahead of the Pakistan series. He hit 14 fours in his 57-ball 79.
However, South Zone got the much-needed breakthrough when Sehwag was caught by Robin Uthhappa off Sunil Joshi in the 15th over with the total reading 118.
Yuvraj Singh carried on with his good form in the domestic circuit and reached his century in style with a six. His 110 also included 18 hits to the fence.
The Punjab batsman added 106 runs for the fourth wicket in company of Dinesh Mongia, who scored 47 (4x6).
Laxmipathy Balaji, who emerged as the most successful bowler of the day claiming five wickets, was however unable to check the run spree of the North batsman as tailenders Amit Mishra (60 not out, 4x11) and Amit Bhandari (64 not out, 4x4 6x4) had added 118 runs for the last wicket by close.
Earlier, resuming at their overnight score of 327 for nine, the South Zone batsmen added 11 runs to the board before their innings folded up at 338 when Dinesh Kaathik (59) was run out by Dinesh Mongia.
South Zone (1st innings)
R Uthappa c Harbhajan Singh b Nehra 80
SA Asnodkar run out (Gambhir) 4
S Sriram b Nehra 25
VVS Laxman c Bisla b Nehra 55
Anirudh Singh lbw Harbhajan Singh 3
S Sharath c & b Mishra 60
D Karthik run out (Mongia) 59
S Joshi lbw Mishra 2
L Balaji c Bisla b Nehra 20
M R Shrinivas lbw Harbhajan Singh 0
R Vinay Kumar not out 2 38 15 0 0
Extras: (b 2, lb 5, nb 21) 28
Total: (92.5 overs) 338
Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-116, 3-125, 4-145, 5-232, 6-266, 7-268, 8-298, 9-299.
Bowling: Nehra 24.5-1-114-4 (12nb), Bhandari 14-1-52-0 (6nb), Harbhajan Singh 29-6-88-2, Mishra 24-5-77-2 (3nb), Mongia 1-1-0-0.
North Zone (1st innings):
G Gambhir c Karthik b Shrinivas 52
V Sehwag c Uthappa b Joshi 79
A Chopra st Karthik b Joshi 17
D Mongia c Karthik b Balaji 47
Yuvraj Singh c Karthik b Balaji 110
Sangram Singh b Joshi 6
M S Bisla b Balaji 14
Harbhajan Singh b Balaji 0
A Mishra not out 60
A Nehra lbw Balaji 2
A Bhandari not out 64.
Extras: (b 6, lb 7, w 4, nb 29) 46
Total: (9 wickets, 85 overs) 497
Fall of wickets: 1-118, 2-173, 3-173, 4-279, 5-308, 6-351, 7-351, 8-364, 9-366.
Bowling: Balaji 25-2-121-5 (5nb, 3w), Shrinivas 16-1-118-1 (17nb), Vinay Kumar 15-1-93-0 (3nb), Joshi 29-3-152-3.