Chennai: An incisive spell of seam bowling by Karnataka’s Abhimanyu Mithun helped South Zone reduce Central Zone to 123 for five on a rain curtailed first day of the Duleep Trophy semi-final, here, on Thursday.
Only 50.2 overs of play was possible on the day with Uttar Pradesh left-hander Mukul Dagar scoring 45 while the domestic heavyweights like Mohammed Kaif (6) and Robin Bist (18) failing to make any substantial contribution.
Mithun was the pick of the bowlers with figures of three for 24 in 10 overs.
Opting to bat, Central Zone suffered a setback when veteran right-handed opener Vineet Saxena (0) was bowled by an in-swinger from Mithun.
The Karnataka seamer used the overcast conditions to his advantage as he got the ball to swing appreciably.
Former India player Kaif (6) also received a seaming delivery and played to a wrong line to get bowled.
At 13 for two, Dagar and Bist came together adding 56 runs for the third wicket. The duo batted for nearly 23 overs before Bist padded an arm ball from Pragyan Ojha to be adjudged leg-before.
Dagar, who showed a lot of patience, finally edged an angling delivery from Mithun to wicket-keeper CM Gautam behind the stumps. Dagar faced 105 balls and hit six boundaries in his innings of 45.
At 76 for four, Vidarbha batsman Shalabh Srivastava (18 batting) and Naman Ojha (23) added 43 runs to steady the ship but the Central Zone wicket-keeper was trapped leg-before by a classic off-break from Malolan Rangarajan towards the fag end of the day.