Sohag seals sensational South winStaff Correspondent
Prime Bank South Zone took the honour of becoming the first side to post an outright win in the Bangladesh Cricket League when they fought back to beat Islami Bank East Zone by 37 runs in Dhaka on Saturday.
Off-spinner Sohag Gazi sealed the dramatic win with his maiden 10-wicket haul in first class competition that helped South Zone dismiss East Zone for 227 runs despite their promising start to the innings in pursuit of a 265-run target.
Sohag added 5-73 to his 6-66 in the first innings as East Zone, resuming the day at 138-2, were bowled out in less than a session on the fourth and final day.
East Zone were in pole position, needing just 127 on the final day with eight wickets intact, but some controlled bowling by Sohag and his spin partner Abdur Razzak kept them at bay.
It was heartbreaking for East Zone who dominated the game in patches and only threw away a potential first innings lead when they had lost their last seven wickets for 14 runs.
They showed the promise again in the second innings and were well in control until Sohag had in-form Mominul Haque caught by Abdur Razzak at mid-off for 14 in his third over in the morning.
Two wickets fell in the next two overs as Robiul Islam trapped Alok Kapali in front before Razzak bowled overnight unbeaten batsman Rajin Saleh (38) to bring South Zone back in the contest.
Sohag changed the end after bowling just three overs in the morning and came out sharper as the first over of his second spell fetched him two wickets and earned him his first ever 10-wicket haul.
‘It’s a nice feeling that we could earn a win and I am happy that I had some sort of contribution in achieving it,’ a modest Sohag told reporters after his man-of-the-match performance.
‘Actually there was no big help from the wicket and it only provided some little turn. They were put under pressure as we did not give any cheap runs.’
Sohag, who made his name during the recent Test series against West Indies, gave credit to Bangladesh’s spin bowling coach Saqlain Mustaq for helping him improve his bowling.
‘I feel that my flight has improved and I really worked hard to do that,’ he said.
‘Drift is very important for every spinners and I am beginning to feel that this area has improved a lot. I worked with Saqlain bhai and he was happy that I could learn about it in a short span of time,’ he said.
The dismissal of Faisal Hossain and Tapash Baishya in the over by Sohag reduced East Zone to 165-7, leaving the contest all but over. Nabil Samad revived some hopes for East Zone with three fours, but his run-out on 17 made it almost impossible for them.
Dhiman Ghosh, who had scored a brilliant century in the previous match, could only delay the inevitable with his 28.
In Bogra, Walton Central Zone and BCB North Zone settled for a draw as expected, but not before Nasir Hossain delighted the crowd with an entertaining century.
With the prospect of a positive result going out of the equation, Nasir decided to have some batting practice for him and his 131 from 112 balls earned him exactly what he wanted.
Nasir, who struck nine fours and four sixes in his splendid innings, shared 135 runs with Farhad Reza for the fifth wicket.
Farhad himself provided some entertainment making 77 from 84 balls with 11 fours as BCB North Zone ended on 397-6 before the two captains agreed for a draw.
Myshukur Rahman also made 73 for North Zone at the top order while Mohammad Ashraful added three wickets to his century in the first innings for Central Zone.
Central Zone batted only seven balls in the morning and added two runs before they declared their first innings on 436 for nine.
North Zone V Central Zone
North Zone 361 & 397-6 in 84 overs (Nasir Hossain 131, Farhad Reza 77 not out, Myshukur Rahman 73, Mohammad Ashraful 3-65) v Central Zone 436-9 Dec in 157.1 overs (Mohammad Ashraful 133, Mehrab Hossain Jr 131, Marshal Ayub 40; Sajidul Islam 3-103, Saqlain Sajib 3-98).
Result: Match Drawn
Man of the match: Mohammad Ashraful
South Zone v East Zone
South Zone 248 & 248 in 91 overs (Anamul Haque 73, Soumya Sarkar 48, Tushar Imran 38; Nabil Samad 6-81, Tapash Baisya 3-25) v East Zone 232 & 227 in 72.1 overs (Nafees Iqbal 63, Rajeen Saleh 38, Shohag Gazi 5-73).
Result: South Zone won by 37 runs
Man of the match: Shohag Gazi
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