The final day of the Bangladesh Cricket League third round match between East Zone and Central Zone witnessed a lot of drama before the thrilling encounter ended in a draw at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogura yesterday.
The match featured a brilliant maiden first class hundred from East batsman Mahmudul Hasan and also included a handful of other intriguing events such as attempts from both teams to kill time. The very noticeable slow over rate also raised many eyebrows.
In chase of 326 runs, East required 255 more runs on the day with eight wickets in hand with overnight batsmen Mohammad Ashraful and Mahmudul picking up from where they had left off on the day before. Mahmudul stood his ground for over six hours to author an incredible 242-ball 135-run epic laced with 12 boundaries.
Mahmudul captained the Bangladesh under-19 team back in the 2010 ICC U-19 World Cup in New Zealand but since then, he had been unable to grab the spotlight until yesterday. According to the 27-year-old, help and advice from senior players like Naeem Islam helped him overcome technical shortcomings over the years.
Even after registering his first ever ton in the format, Mahmudul was humble enough to take the blame for not being able to carry his team all the way through to glory in the match.
“I paid the price of playing a wrong shot. Had I been there for a bit longer, the result could have been different,” he said.
The drama began after the right-hander's dismissal as East lost three quick wickets within the next four overs while adding only nine runs in that period. It was later learned that after that sudden blow, East batsmen tried to waste time in order to avoid a defeat. However, two sixes from Abu Jayed and a boundary from Enamul haque Jnr restored some faith in East's dugout.
However, it was time for Central's bowlers to return the favour as they took 20 minutes to bowl the the final two overs of the game, which was played in very low light. The match eventually ended in a draw due to bad light as East remained just six runs short of victory.
Aside from that, the match officials seemed reluctant to let the Central bowlers get away with the very slow over rate as the last 18 overs of the match lasted about two hours.
At the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram, the match between South Zone and North Zone ended as expected -- in a draw. North was bundled out for 394 runs in their first innings after resuming the day on 382 for seven. Captain Abdur Razzak was the pick of the bowlers, scalping six wickets for 126 runs.
In reply, South ended the day with 248 for five on the board. Al-Amin and Mahedi Hasan remained unbeaten for 75 and 60 runs respectively.
SCORES IN BRIEF
CENTRAL ZONE V EAST ZONE
CENTRAL ZONE: First innings 118 and second 393 (Marshall Ayub 70, Mazid 67, Taibur 59; Hasan 3-60)
EAST ZONE: First Innings 186 and second 320 for 7 (Mahmudul 135, Ashraful 64; Shahidul 3-73)
Result: Match drawn.
SOUTH ZONE V NORTH ZONE
SOUTH ZONE: First innings 329 and second 248 for 5 (Al-Amin 75 not out, Mahedi 60 not out, Anamul 66; Ebadat 2-27, Rishad 2-61)
NORTH ZONE: First innings 394 (Junaid 112, Ziaur 90, Naeem 83; Razzak 6-126)
Result: Match drawn.