BCB South Zone emerged champions in the Bangladesh Cricket League for the third successive time after defeating Islami Bank East Zone by 105 runs on the fourth day of their final match at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram on Tuesday.
Chasing a target of 354, East Zone were bundled out for 248 with Shafiul Islam and Mahedi Hasan being the chief destroyers by claiming three wickets each to end the contest on the penultimate day of the five-day match.
Earlier, South Zone were dismissed for a mere 140 in their second innings but a hefty first innings lead of 213, which they gained by restricting East Zone to 273 in reply to their 486 in the first innings, helped them post a challenging total.
With the title win, South Zone have strengthened their position as the most successful side in the competition’s history, with five championship wins in eight editions, with Central Zone winning two and North winning one of the remaining titles.
South Zone managed to bat for just five overs on day four, after they resumed their second innings on 125-8, with overnight batsman Mahedi Hasan (53) completing his fifty, before pacer Hasan Mahmud, who finished with 4-35, took the remaining wickets to bring South’s innings to an end.
East Zone’s reply got off to a disastrous start, as they were reduced to 33-3 inside 11 overs with Shafiul and Al-Amin Hossain claiming two and one wicket respectively.
Mahmudul Hasan and Afif Hossain kept East Zone’s chances alive for a miraculous win by forming an 85-run stand for the fourth wicket but Mahedi Hasan ended their resistance by
removing the latter for 31, with wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan completing the stumping.
Mahmudul and Tanzid Hasan, member of Bangladesh’s World Cup winning Under-19 team, added 39 runs for the fifth wicket to stabilise East Zone’s innings.
But Farhad Reza virtually ended East Zone’s chances in the contest by removing Tanzid, who hit 82 in his maiden first-class knock in the first innings, for 17 and Mahmudul for 81 in consecutive overs to reduce East Zone to 158-6.
Zakir Hasan (42) tried to stage a late comeback but the writing was on the wall, as East Zone lost their remaining four wickets in the final session.
South Zone skipper Abdur Razzak also completed a personal hat-trick as he became the highest wicket-taker in the BCL for the third consecutive edition by claiming 22 wickets, while South’s Anamul Haque became the highest run-getter in BCL for the second straight edition with 501 runs.
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