Skipper S Badrinath's double century and Rahul Dravid's hundred helped South Zone amass 442 runs for the loss of six wickets on the opening day of the Duleep Trophy match against North Zone at the Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground, in Rajkot on Thursday.
Badrinath scored an exact 200 while Rahul Dravid got 138 as the duo put on 312 runs for the third wicket after a shaky start where they lost both their openers cheaply.
South Zone captain Badrinath won the toss and decided to bat first but openers Robin Uthappa (1) and Abhinav Mukund failed to give the team a good start on an easy batting track.
Mukund was the first to go with the total reading 13 and Uthappa followed him on the same score.
Badrinath was then joined by Dravid and the duo not only avoided further hiccups but also made run scoring look easy.
Dravid took 127 balls to complete his hundred while Badrinath needed 143 balls to cross the three-digit mark.
The partnership was finally broken when Dravid was bowled by leg-spinner Amit Mishra while trying to play square of the wicket and missed the line completely.
Dinesh Karthik, who had struck back-to-back centuries in the pre-quarter final against Central Zone, did not last long and was taken in front of wicket by the same bowler.
Karthik made only four. However, Badrinath did not hesitate to give the spinners the charge and on a couple of occasions lifted the medium-pacers over the top.
He took 257 balls for his double century that included 24 fours and four sixes.
He got out soon after completing his double hundred and gave a simple regulation catch to wicketkeeper Uday Kaul off Manpreet Gony.
Arjun Yadav was batting on 43 (91b, 8X4) and M Surersh (0) were at the crease when stumps were drawn for the day.
For North Zone, medium-pacers Manpreet and VS Malik took two wickets each giving away 71 and 98 runs, respectively, while Mishra too bagged two wickets conceding 149 runs.Scorecard
South Zone (1st innings):
Abhinav Mukund lbw V Malik 10
Robin Uthappa lbw M Gony 1
S Badrinath c Kaul B M Gony 200
Rahul Dravid b A Mishra 138
Dinesh Karthik lbw A Mishra 4
Arjun Yadav not out 43
R Ashwin lbw Malik 17
M Suresh not out 0
Extras: (LB-5, NB-23, W-1) 29
Total: (for 6 wickets off 90 overs) 442
Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-13, 3-325, 4-331, 5-407, 6-441.
Bowling: M S Gony 18-1-71-2, V S Malik 21-1-98-2, Rajat Bhatia 13-1-52-0, Parvindar Awana 8-0-47-0, Amit Mishra 26-1-149-2, Virat Kohli 3-0-16-0, R Dewan 1-0-4-0.