Saqlain spins North into finalStaff Correspondent
BCB North Zone moved into the Bangladesh Cricket League final with a crushing 170-run win over Prime Bank South Zone in their last league match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Friday.
They were joined by Walton Central Zone in the final after playing a drab draw against Islami Bank East Zone in Bogra where the two teams were unable to complete their first innings in four days.
Left-arm spinner Saqlain Sajib catapulted North Zone into victory with his second 10-wicket haul of his first-class career that earned the side seven points from the match including a bonus point.
It took their tally to 12 points from three matches, one less than Walton Central Zone, who secured three points with the draw to top the table with 13 after each side completed their three round robin league matches.
South Zone, the only other side to post a win in the league phase, languished in third place with 10 points as they could add just one bonus point to their collection from this match.
Chasing a target of 449 runs, South Zone resumed the final day’s play on 84-2, but they were never in the hunt after losing a wicket only in the second ball of the morning.
Man of the match Saqlain rattled the middle-order with his 4-90 to add to his 6-74 in the first innings as South Zone were left struggling at 178-8 despite overnight batsman Soumya Sarker scoring 61.
Sohag Gazi played a blistering knock of 85, which came off just 50 balls and included 13 fours and four sixes, which however only could reduce the margin of the defeat.
Nasir Hossain ended the
chance of Sohag making a miracle after he made the tail-ender a catch of Farhad Reza off his first ball in the match. Two balls later Nasir claimed the wicket of Sohag’s 100-run ninth-wicket partner Shafaq Al Jabir (15) to bring an end to the contest.
Meanwhile, Islami Bank East Zone left the tournament with their heads high despite finishing at the bottom as they ended their final day in the drawn game in Bogra with 396-8.
With all the results but a draw going out of the equation, the East Zone had no goal left but to try to bat out the day and they were successful in achieving that target.
Opener Nafees Iqbal was unlucky to miss out on a ton, having been dismissed on 82 after adding just one run to his overnight score. This was the third consecutive innings Nafees got out after making a fifty while his overnight partner Mominul Haque (42) did not do anything better either.
However, Faisal Hossain and Dhiman Ghosh did not allow the day to be spoiled scoring 92 and 58 runs respectively, which killed off any excitement the game still had on the final day.
Central Zone and North Zone will now play the final in February after the end of the Bangladesh Premier League. The day-night final will be played with pink balls, which will add an extra colour to the tournament.
Central Zone v East Zone
Central Zone 655-7 dec in 159.4 overs (Marshal Ayub 289, Mehrab Hossain jr 218; Nabil Samad 4-161) v East Zone 396-6 in 107 overs (Faisal Hossain 92, Nafees Iqbal 82, Dhiman Ghosh 58 not out, Shahriar Nafees 49, Mominul Haque 42; Elias Sunny 3-84).
Result: Match Drawn.
South Zone v North Zone
North Zone 291 & 362-7 dec in 81.4 overs (Mushfiqur Rahim 89, Nasir Hossain 88, Farhad Reza 75 not out; Abdur Razzak 3-129) v South Zone 205 & 278 in 86.3 overs (Sohag Gazi 85, Soumya Sarkar 61, Ziaur Rahman 365; Saqlain Sajib 4-90, Nasir Hossain 2-0).
Result: North Zone won by 170 runs.
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