Forhad Reza ... 153
If batsmen were guilty of throwing away their wickets after getting set on the first day of the Bangladesh Cricket League, the second day's play saw a turnaround, though not in the run rates.
There were three centurions in the BKSP yesterday with Shamsur Rahman's fabulous 229 not out leading the pack. The opener raced to his double century in just 233 balls and in the process helped his Central Zone take a 126-run lead against East Zone. Central posted 429 for 6 in 85 overs after dismissing East Zone for 303, maintaining an astounding run-rate of over five runs an over.
The other centuries were scored by South Zone's Imrul Kayes (127 not out) and Mithun Ali (107). The pair helped their side finish the day on a confident 289 for 3 after their opponents, North Zone, were bowled out for 421.
EAST V CENTRAL
Shamsur's amazing stroke-play almost single-handedly removed any chance for Mushfiqur Rahim's East Zone to stage a comeback in the game after getting bundled out for a disappointing 303 after resuming on 301 for nine.
The 25-year-old batted aggressively right from the start as he reached his 50 off just 26 balls, hammering nine fours and a six. It wasn't as though he aimed to hit every delivery out of the park. He looked for the bad deliveries, which were frequently on offer, and comfortably dispatched them for boundaries. Particularly harsh against the spinners, he eventually reached his 100 off 86 balls, with a six after lunch. The batsman had to deal with the added pressure of wickets falling around him. At one point Central were struggling at 185 for 5, before young Nurul Hasan joined Shamsur for the sixth wicket. With Nurul by his side, Shamsur continued on his merry way and reached his 200, also with a six, towards the fag end of the day. He hammered 24 fours and seven sixes in his 260-ball innings. Nurul played his part too, scoring a fierce 90-ball 94 before being stumped off Alok Kapali late in the day.
Walton Central Zone's Shamsur Rahman may well be on his way to stake his claim as a Test opener with his authoritative 229 not out against Islami Bank East Zone in the National Cricket League on Monday. PHOTO: FIROZ AHMED
NORTH V SOUTH
North Zone added 90 runs to their overnight score of 331 for 8. The key contributor to those runs was Forhad Reza, who raced to 153 from his overnight score of 76, hitting 11 fours and four sixes yesterday.
South Zone's reply was as lethal as North Zone's defiance. After losing openers Anamul Haque (3) and Soumya Sarkar (42) early, South Zone rode on twin centuries from Imrul and Mithun. The pair shared a 221-run stand for the third wicket in just 277 balls. Imrul played a characteristically sedate innings, scoring his 127 off 214 balls, but a large proportion of those runs (15 fours and five sixes) came in boundaries. Mithun was not far behind with 13 fours and four sixes in his 107.
SCORES IN BRIEF
NORTH ZONE: 421 all out in 107.5 overs (Forhad Reza 153, Nasir Hossain 99; Robiul 3-35). SOUTH ZONE: 289 for 3 in 70 overs (Imrul 127 not out, Mithun Ali 107;
EAST ZONE: 303 all out in 91.4 overs (Liton Kumar 79, Nazimuddin 57; Riyad 4-67). CENTRAL ZONE: 429 for 6 in 85 overs (Shamsur 229 not out, Nurul 94; Alauddin 2-84, Mashrafe