A fine half century knock by Rahul Deewan (81) helped North Zone reach 172 for three wickets in reply to South Zone's daunting first innings 548 on the second day of the four-day Duleep Trophy semi-final at the Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground in Rajkot on Friday.
Sunny Sohal (19) and Uday Kaul (16) were at the crease when stumps were drawn for the day.
North Zone, who require another 226 runs to avoid a follow on, began well with openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rahul Deewan notching up 82 runs for the first wicket.
Dhawan was the first to go having made 37 runs in 43 balls with the help of six fours.
Deewan then added 53 runs for the second wicket with Aakash Chopra and completed, in the process, his fifty with the help of nine fours from 83 balls.
At this stage, North were comfortably placed at 132 for one and set to give South a run for their money.
However, Deewan's needless third run call brought his composed knock of 81 (132b, 14x4) to an end. Chopra (17) soon followed, stumped by wicket keeper Dinesh Karthik, as he was deceived in the air by leg-spinner M Suresh.
For North Zone, off-spinner R Ashwin and leg-spinner M Suresh picked up a wicket each conceding 26 and 28 runs respectively.
Earlier, resuming at an overnight score of 442 for six, South added another 106 runs before being bowled out soon after lunch.
Overnight batsman Arjun Yadav contributed 70 (151b, 11x4) while Vinay Kumar and Laxmipathy Balaji chipped in with 29 and 21 respectively.
North bowlers Manpreet Gony, V Malik and Amit Mishra took three wickets each giving away 90, 136 and 164 runs respectively.
South Zone: (Overnight 442 for 6)
Abhinav Mukund lbw V Malik 10
Robin Uthappa lbw M Gony 01
S Badrinath c Kaul b M Gony 200
Rahul Dravid b A Mishra 138
Dinesh Karthik lbw A Mishra 04
Arjun Yadav b V Malik 70
R Ashwin lbw V Malik 17
M Suresh c R Deewan b M Gony 17
Vinay Kumar c S Dhawan b Awana 29
Saurav Babdekar c and b Mishra 08
Laxmipathy Balaji not out 21
Extras: ( lb-5, nb-27, w-1) 33
Total: (all out off 130.2 overs) 548
Fall of Wickets: 1-13, 2-13, 3-325, 4-331, 5-407, 6-441, 7-479, 8-503, 9-515, 10-548.
Bowling: M Gony 24-2-90-3, V Malik 32-3-136-3, R Bhatia 13-1-5 2-0, P Awana 20.2-2-81-1, A Mishra 37-2-164-3, V Kohli 3-0-16-0, R Deewan 1-0-4-0.
North Zone (Ist Innings):
Rahul Deewan run out 81
Shikhar Dhawan c A Mukund b R Ashwin 37
Aakash Chopra st D Karthik b M Suresh 17
Sunny Sohal batting 19
Uday Kaul batting 16
Extras: (NB-2) 02
Total: (for 3 wickets off 47 overs) 172
Fall of Wickets: 1-82, 2-135, 3-137
Bowling: L Balaji 12-1-46-0, V Kumar 10-3-41-0, R Uthappa 2-0-13-0, S Babdekar 5-1-18-0, R Ashwin 11-3-26-1, M Suresh 7-2-28-1.