Robin Uthappa's 160 put South Zone on the threshold of a place in the Duleep Trophy final against West Zone on the penultimate day of the four-day semi-final against North Zone at the Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground in Rajkot on Saturday.
Uthappa's 160 off 159 deliveries enabled South Zone end the third day on 319 for 3 from 63 overs in their second essay, an overall lead of 567.
West Zone whipped East Zone by eight wickets in the other semi-final, winning with more than a day and one session to spare, at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.
West, leading East by a handy 111 runs in the first innings, dismissed their opponents for a mere 200 in the second essay before lunch on the third day and then rattled up 90 for two to emerge convincing winners.
Replying to South's 548 in the first innings, North were dismissed for 300 in 71.2 overs, conceding a 248-run first innings lead. Virat Kohli and Rajat Bhatia did not bat in North's innings.
Resuming at 172 for 3, North Zone's overnight batsmen Sunny Sohal and Uday Kaul added 85 runs for the fourth wicket before being separated. Kaul scored 40, inclusive of seven fours off 63 balls.
Sohal was unlucky not to get a hundred. He got his fifty off 57 balls, inclusive of five fours and two sixes, but was dismissed for 94 off 99 balls, during which he hit 12 fours and three sixes.
South, however, did not enforce the follow-on.
Brief scores: South Zone 548 & 319-3 in 63 overs (Robin Uthappa 160, R Ashwin batting 66; S Sohal 1-8); North Zone (overnight 172-3) 300-8 in 71.2 overs: (Sunny Sohal 94, Uday Kaul 40; M Suresh 3/69).