Visakhapatnam, Feb 2 (PTI) Paras Dogra saved North Zonefrom a disaster as he smashed an aggressive unbeaten 147 totake his side to 266 for seven on the first day of the DuleepTrophy final against South Zone here today.
Electing to bat, North Zone were in deep trouble afterthey were reduced to 30 for three inside 20 overs and 57 forfour at lunch against a South Zone bowling attack which hasIndia players in R Vinay Kumar, Pragyan Ojha and AbhimanyuMithun.
Dogra, who came in when North Zone were reeling at 30 forthree, revived the innings, and in the able company of YashpalSingh (32) and Uday Kaul (38) turned it around to take hisside to a position from where they can hope to put up a goodtotal on the second day tomorrow.
Dogra was still going strong when the stumps were drawn,having smashed 16 fours and five sixes in his 201-ballinnings. Joginder Singh was giving Dogra company on four.
North Zone made a horrible start to their innings aftercaptain Amit Mishra called the coin correctly with openersNitin Saini (3) and Shikhar Dhawan (5) getting out cheaply atteam score of nine inside 10 overs.
Soon even the Delhi Ranji team captain Mithun Manhasjoined the duo inside the dressing room after scoring justseven.
North''s revival began in the post-lunch session withDogra first stitching a 99-run stand with Yashpal for thefifth wicket before sharing another 89-run partnership for thesixth with wicketkeeper Uday Kaul.
The two substantial partnerships took North Zone scorepast 250, and that too at a decent run-rate of 2.95 as full 90overs were played today at the VDCA Cricket Stadium here.
The visitors will now hope to add more runs tomorrow andcross the 300-run mark, although that will depend mainly onDogra.
North Zone would require Dogra to stay at the crease foras long as possible tomorrow and take most of the strike toshield the tailenders, with only Ishant Sharma and SumitNarwal to come.
For South Zone, Vinay Kumar took two wickets for 28 andhis pace colleague Sreenath Aravind claimed two for 40.
Mithun, Ojha and Abhinav Mukund took a wicket each.