Mithun Manhas helped himself to his 19th first-class century and Sumit Narwal capped his all-round show with a second half century of the match as North Zone opted to shield their bowlers on the final day of the Duleep Trophy semifinal against West Zone.
With the passage to the final all but confirmed on the basis of the first innings lead, the experienced Manhas made the most of the opportunity, having lost out on a big score in the first innings despite looking good in his 58-run knock.
The only time there was some excitement in the match was when umpire Subrat Das first warned Manhas for running on the wicket and then docked North five runs for the second offence, thereby reducing their first innings lead to 63 runs.
The decision added to West's first innings total - taking it to 397. However, that hardly affected the concentration of Manhas, who scored an unbeaten 158 in a team total of 421. West had made 61 for three when play was called off.
North face South in the final at Vizag.
Ishant to join squad
North's bowling will be bolstered by the return of Ishant Sharma, who skipped the semifinal. "Ishant will join the squad in place of Pawan Suyal," said Mishra.
The left-arm medium pacer was injured after bowling two overs in West's first innings.
South thrash Central
PTI adds from Hyderabad: R Vinay Kumar wreaked havoc with a four-wicket haul as South Zone humiliated Central Zone by 552 runs to set up a summit clash with North. Needing 770 runs to win, Central were bundled out for 217 in their second innings on the final day.
Brief Scores: South: 443 & 504 for 7 decl in 100.3 overs (A Mukund 164, A Verma 148; U Yadav 2/63) vs Central: 178 and 217 all out in 47.1 overs (N Ojha 55, A Menaria 63; R Vinay Kumar 4/36).