North eye win, draw looms in BograStaff Correspondent
Bangladesh Cricket Board North Zone were eying their first victory in the Bangladesh Cricket League after a solid batting performance was backed by their bowlers against Prime Bank South Zone at Mirpur on Thursday.
North Zone, who had taken a valuable 86-run first innings lead earlier, rode on half-centuries from Mushfiqur Rahim, Nasir Hossain and Farhad Reza to declare their second innings on 362-7, setting a mammoth 449-run target for South Zone.
South stumbled at the start while chasing the target when they lost the wickets of Imrul Kayes and Anamul Haque to finish third day’s play at 84-2 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
They had begun the day on a positive note when left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak took two wickets in two overs to dismiss both overnight batsmen Mushfiqur Rahim and Naeem Islam.
Mushfiq resumed the penultimate day’s play on 51 and missed the chance of scoring a century as Razzak bowled him for 89 to end his 121-run fourth-wicket stand with Naeem (47).
Razzak, however, was denied further success as Nasir Hossain and Farhad Reza added 148 runs in an aggressive sixth-wicket stand as North Zone were looking for a declaration.
Nasir made a quick 88 off 78 balls with nine fours and three sixes before Imrul Kayes made him his maiden first-class cricket victim. Farhad batted in a similarly aggressive manner to stay unbeaten on 75 from 61 balls hitting six fours and three sixes.
South Zone came on to bat in their second innings with a target of 448 runs to win and lost the valuable wickets of Kayes (nine) and Anamul Haque (seven) before Soumya Sarker and Fazle Rabbi put up a resistance.
Soumya was not out on 37 while Fazle was batting on 30 runs.
Meanwhile, Marshal Ayub and Mehrab Hossain Jr missed out on the first-class record for the fifth wicket as the match between Walton Central Zone and Islami Bank East Zone was heading for a draw in Bogra.
At the Shaheed Chandu Stadium, East Zone ended the day’s play on 161-1 after Central Zone rode on double centuries from Marshal and Mehrab to declare their first innings on a huge total of 655-7.
Marshal was eying his maiden triple century when he resumed the day on 251, but the right-hander could add just 38 runs to his overnight total before Enamul Haq Jr finally ended his marathon innings on 289.
Marshal struck 30 fours and four sixes facing 367 balls during his 564-minute stay at the crease.
Earlier, Marshal lost his overnight partner Mehrab, who was out lbw off Nabil Samad for 218 after adding just 12 runs on the day.
The dismissal of Mehrab, who faced 388 balls and hit 27 fours and two sixes, ended his partnership with Marshal at 494 runs.
The partnership fell 26 runs short of a first-class record for the fifth wicket, currently held by India’s Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja who put on 520 runs for Saurashtra against Orissa in 2008-09.
Central Zone, however, did not declare their innings until another batsman Shuvagata Hom (51 not out) had completed a fifty.
East Zone had more than a session to bat on the third day and they made good use of it thanks to an unbeaten half-century by Nafees Iqbal, who was batting on 81 alongside Mominul Haque (22 not out).
Shahriar Nafees, bowled by left-arm spinner Mosharraf Hossain after the left-hander had made 49, was the only East Zone batsman to be dismissed.
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