Hyderabad, Oct 17: Yuvraj Singh's double century could not help North Zone's cause as Central Zone advanced to the final of Duleep Trophy after their semi-final ended in a draw here on Wednesday. The final will be played between Central Zone and East Zone in Chennai from October 21 to 25. East Zone progressed after taking 23-run first innings lead against South Zone in drawn game on Wednesday in Visakhapatnam.
The four-day encounter was dominated by Yuvraj's 208 in the first innings. But Central's Bhuvneshwar Kumar stole Yuvraj's spotlight with a magnificent 128 which earned his team a 18-run first innings lead. Central marched into the final on first innings advantage at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
After North Zone had piled on 451, Central were at one stage reeling at 293/8 and later were 342/9. However, Bhuvneshwar and Rituraj Singh's century partnership for the 10th wicket tilted the game towards Central.
On the final day, Wednesday, Central achieved the lead with the 21-year-old Bhuvneshwar being the last man dismissed for 128 with score on 469. The right-handed batsman from Uttar Pradesh had batted for 253 balls hitting 13 boundaries and three sixes.
At close of play on the third day, Central were 442/9 in 145 over with Bhuvneshwar on 120 not out. They needed 10 runs for the lead and were successful in getting them.
In the second innings, which was inconsequential, North Zone made 187/4 declared in 52 overs. With a target of 170 to chase, Central finished the game with 39/1 in 13 overs.
North Zone 451 all out in 119.2 overs (Yuvraj Singh 208, Shikhar Dhawan 121, Praveen Kumar 4/92, Murali Kartik 4/120) and 187/4 declared in 52 overs (Rahul Dewan 80, Shikhar Dhawan 37, Nitin Saini 38, Jalaj Saxena 2/52) drew with Central Zone 469 all out in 154.1 overs (Bhuvneshwar Kumar 128, Mohammad Kaif 63, Vineet Saxena 33, Rituraj Singh 39 not out, Amith Mishra 4/162, Rishi Dhawan 3/66) and 39/1 in 13 overs