25 wickets fell at the BKSP on the first day of the second round of the Bangladesh Cricket League yesterday, quite a change from the first round which was heavily dominated by the batsmen.
One of the reasons behind the turnaround was the management's decision to spice up the wickets a bit in order to test the batsmen ahead of the Sri Lanka Test series. It was a day for the spinners to rejoice as they scalped 21 of the 25 wickets across the two games.
The player who best utilised the conditions was slow-left armer Taijul Islam, who picked up seven of the eight wickets for North Zone in their game against Tamim Iqbal's East Zone. He took seven for 67 and helped restrict East Zone to 261 for eight at stumps.
The day's other game saw Mahmudullah Riyad's Central Zone get bundled out for just 165 in 39.4 overs. In reply, Abdur Razzak's South Zone finished the day on 196 for seven.
The batsmen's poor display did not impress the national selectors, who are keeping a special watch on this match in order to finalise the Test side against the Lankans.
“It was a little sad to see the way the batsmen reacted. Yes the wicket was a little more difficult than before but the conditions were not as difficult as the scorecards would suggest. It was not unplayable,” said national selector Habibul Bashar.
“On the first day of any Test, the wicket is bound to do a bit. One needs to spend time on the crease and wait for it to get better, as it was after lunch. Sadly, not many did that. There's still time and I hope the openers can learn by batting on a wicket like this,” he added.
He was however impressed with East Zone's Mominul Haque (94) and South Zone's Mithun Ali (88) who were the only batsmen to perform in a day that belonged to the bowlers.
CENTRAL ZONE V SOUTH ZONE
After electing to field first South Zone's spinners Shohag Gazi and Abdur Razzak ran through Central's batting line-up as they collapsed in just 39.4 overs. Riyad top-scored with 36. In reply, South Zone faced similar problems as they stuttered to 54 for three in 14 overs. However, Mithun followed his century in the last match with an 89-ball 88 to hold the innings together. His wicket though led to a mini collapse as they finished with just four wickets left. Central's Riyad looked lethal with the ball and finished with 5 for 72.
EAST ZONE V NORTH ZONE
An 'unreasonable and dangerous' pitch, as put by the match referee, was the reason why the game was stopped after just one over and later restarted after lunch. Officials stated that the wicket was not dry enough to start the game.
Once it did start, it was Taijul's slow left-armers that dominated the show. Had it not been for half centuries from Mominul and Alok Kapali, East Zone would have been in a far worse scenario. Mominul hit ten fours and two sixes in his 116-ball knock.
SCORES IN BRIEF
CENTRAL ZONE: 165 all out in 39.4 overs (Riyad 36; Shohag 4-67, Razzak 3-44)
SOUTH ZONE: 196 for 7 (Mithun Ali 88; Riyad 5-72)
EAST ZONE: 261 for 8 (Mominul 94, Kapali 52 not out; Taijul 7-67)