Mominul's best puts East in charge
Mominul Haque hit a superb 258 and in the process achieved a few personal milestones at the BKSP in Savar yesterday.
All eyes were on the little left-hander when he came out to bat on 169 for Islami Bank East Zone against Prime Bank South Zone on the second day of the Bangladesh Cricket League first-round game. He did not disappoint as he stroked his way to his highest first-class score, surpassing his previous best of 239. His second double hundred will serve as a substantial confidence booster ahead of the two-Test series against Sri Lanka starting on January 31.
The 27-year-old also crossed the 5,000-run mark in his 74th first-class game. He was solid in his 344-ball vigil at the crease, striking 23 boundaries and three sixes. The Bangladesh Test number three's pursuit of a maiden triple suffered a setback when his overnight partner Zakir Hossain, with whom he put on 233 runs for the sixth wicket, departed after scoring 119.
He was however least concerned about milestones and happy to be focused for nearly five sessions.
“I'm happy that I could focus session by session. This was something I was missing for quite some time,” said Mominul after his stupendous innings.
Mominul became the ninth batsmen out at 546, and East Zone's marathon 129.5-over innings also ended at the same score, leaving South with a mountain to climb in their chase. Mominul became one of the six victims of ageless off-spinner Abdur Razzak, who finished with six for 178.
After the Mominul show, it was the turn of Soumya Sarkar to make a statement on the domestic front after being dropped from the national team. But the southpaw of the South failed to make an impact. He was adjudged leg before for 19. As he often does, he missed a flick off his pads against off-spinner Sohag Gazi. South lost two more wickets and were reduced to 59 for three before an experienced Tushar Imran, who hit a triple-century last year, and the precocious Mosaddek Hossain finished the day without further damage at 128 for three, still 418 runs behind.
It was good to see Mosaddek coming out to bat after a painful blow to his shoulder while fielding on the opening day. Mosaddek was the more authoritative of the two batsmen with 44 against Tushar's watchful 22.
In the other BCL game at the Sylhet International Stadium BCB North Zone were on a mission to emulate East Zone, but with the sequence of events reversed, after bowling Walton Central Zone out for 188 on the opening day.
On 433 for seven at stumps on the second day, North may have a double centurion of their own, although they lost a centurion by a whisker after a similarly resolute sixth-wicket stand of 176 runs between Jahurul Islam and Diman Ghosh.
Dhiman was dismissed for 93, but Jahurul was still out there on 152. The experienced right-hander will get the chance to complete his double provided that Forhad Reza, who hit a century in the National Cricket League, gives him good company. Jahurul has so far hit 14 fours and five sixes in his unbeaten 232-ball knock against a quality pace attack that features national discard Taskin Ahmed.
Taskin, in company with left-arm spinner Mosharraf Hossain, rocked the North innings early in the morning when both overnight batsmen Nazmul Hossain and Mizanur Rahman, who finished the first day on 93 without loss, were dismissed without adding much to their overnight scores. Taskin's three quick wickets actually reduced North to 126-4. Interestingly, they lost three wickets on 126 after Nazmul was clean bowled by Taskin for 44. After that it was all about the Jahurul-Dhiman show.