Tushar's third, Shadman's first
Tushar Imran scored his third hundred of the season while Shadman Islam got his first ton on the opening day of the Bangladesh Cricket League (BCL) yesterday.
Tushar barely made any headlines while representing Legends of Rupganj in the recently-concluded Dhaka Premier League (DPL), but the 34-year-old wasted no time in making his presence felt in his favoured longer-version game at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.
Though the BCL was on a two month hiatus due to the DPL, the right-hander was able to carry his form. Tushar scored 130 off 221 balls with 15 fours and a six during his four-and-a-half-hour stay in the middle on the opening day and shared a 165-run partnership with Fazle Mahmud for the third wicket as South Zone scored 299 for seven against East Zone before bad light stopped play.
"Don't you think I have to do something special if I want to get a place in the national side," responded Tushar over phone with a laugh when he was asked to disclose the secret of his continuous success in the longer-version domestic competitions.
"Actually, I enjoy batting in the longer-version game as I get time here to prolong my innings. There is no hurry for me. Scoring runs is a habit and fortunately I have become accustomed to this habit. In the league matches I batted at number six and I had to focus more on scoring runs rather than staying at the crease, that is the difference," he quickly explained the real reason.
Tushar also impressed with his navigation of the wicket. "There was a grass on the wicket which helped the pace bowlers but it was also good for batting. This kind of wicket really helps our cricket in the long run," he added.
However, East Zone left the field with some satisfaction as the second new ball worked for them brilliantly. Mohammad Saifuddin took two quick wickets, dismissing Mohammad Mithun and Nayeem Hasan after right-arm pacer Abu Jayed removed Tushar.
Openers Shahriar Nafees and Anamul Haque returned to the pavilion with the scoreboard reading 44. However, Tushar and Mahmud repaired the damage before the latter was dismissed for 89 runs by Sohag Gazi. Though refreshed after a 154-run innings in the last relegation league match in the DPL, Soumya Sarker failed to capitalise on that form as he was dismissed for four. Saifuddin and Khaled took two wickets each for East Zone.
At the Shahid Chandu Stadium in Bogra, bottom-side Central Zone made a confident start against leaders North Zone through a 200-run opening partnership between Saif Hasan and Shadman.
In his first appearance in this season's BCL, Saif missed a hundred by just six runs but Shadman batted for more than five hours and scored 107 off 239, hitting nine boundaries. After losing three wickets for seven runs, Marshal Ayub (20) and Mahmudullah Riyad (21) remained not out as Central Zone ended the day on 249 for three.
SCORES IN BRIEF
CENTRAL ZONE V NORTH ZONE
Walton Central Zone: First innings 249 for 3 (Saif 94, Shadman 107, Marshall 20 not out, Mahmudullah 21 not out; Shoriful 2-50)
SOUTH ZONE V EAST ZONE
Prime Bank South Zone: First innings 299 for 7 (Mahmud 89, Tushar 130, Mithun 22; Saifuddin 2-40, Khaled 2-67)