North Zone fast bowler Ebadat Hossain ran riot on a green wicket as he took six wickets for 51 runs -- his best bowling figures in first-class cricket -- against Central Zone yesterday on the first day of the second round of the Bangladesh Cricket League.
At the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogura, it was no surprise that North Zone elected to field on a pitch with a light-green shade -- the type of surface on which every quick bowler would like to operate. Ebadat also felt the same as he said that the bowlers exploited the green surface to their benefit. The Central Zone batsmen's struggle was evident from the very beginning as they lost four quick wickets with just 24 runs on the board at the end of the 12th over.
However, Abdul Majid and Shuvagata Hom steadied the rocking ship with a 91-run partnership for the fifth wicket before Shuvagata fell prey to the star of the day, Ebadat. After that it was the same old story for Central Zone as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were finally bundled out for 220 in 62.5 overs.
In reply, North Zone experienced an early jolt as opener Junaid Siddique saw his stumps rattled by a Shahidul Islam delivery with the score on 14. Despite the shaky start, North Zone ended the day just as they had started it -- on top -- as Mijanur Rahman and Farhad Hossain remained unbeaten on 34 and 31 runs respectively, taking the score to 72 for one at the close.
A hundred kilometres southeast, the other match between East Zone and South Zone at the Shaheed Kamruzzaman Stadium in Rajshahi was a completely different one as East Zone ended the day on 314 for four. Opener Shamsur Rahman was the star of the show with 153 off 228 balls. South Zone skipper Abdur Razaak did manage to pick three wickets, but it was a day and a pitch on which batsmen ruled the roost.
SCORES IN BRIEF
CENTRAL ZONE V NORTH ZONE
CENTRAL ZONE: 220 all out in 62.5 overs (Majid 76, Shuvagata 48, Mosharraf 34; Ebadat 6-51, Ziaur 2-35)
NORTH ZONE: 72 for 1 in 15.1 overs (Mizanur 34 not out, Farhad 31 not out; Shahidul 1-24)
EAST ZONE V SOUTH ZONE
EAST ZONE: 314 for four in 90 overs (Shamsur 153, Rony 53, Tasamul 47 not out; Razzak 3-111, Fazle 1-10)