The opening day of the Bangladesh Cricket League (BCL) saw pacers run the show in Chattogram, where South Zone pacer Shafiul Islam picked four of his five wickets in the first over against fellow Bangladesh Cricket Board-run team North Zone at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium yesterday.
In an incredible first over, Liton Das became Shafiul’s first victim, trapped in front in the first ball as a length delivery swung in and undid the right-hander. Junaid Siddique, the next batsman in, was able to sneak a double but he too fell prey to Shafiul’s swing, this time the ball rattling the stumps.
Shafiul did create a hattrick opportunity when he dispatched Mizanur Rahman in the same manner in the next ball. Although Naeem Islam was able to take a double in the next delivery to deny Shafiul a hattrick, he too saw his stumps take flight in the final delivery of an emphatic over.
Rony Talukdar, who was a mere spectator to Shafiul’s carnage at the non-striker’s end, remained unbeaten for a 42-ball 26. Shafiul completed his fifer in his final over of the day and ended with figures of five for 30 in six overs as North Zone managed 46 for five after 12 overs before stumps.
Earlier, South Zone posted 262 before being bundled out in 67.4 overs. On a day when pacers ran riot, it was South Zone batsman Fazle Mahmud who saved his team from embarrassment. South Zone would not have been able to post a decent score if not for Fazle’s 164-ball 125, laced with 17 fours and three maximums. The four North Zone pacers -- Taskin Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain, Sumon Khan and Ariful Haque -- shared nine of the 10 South Zone wickets.
At the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, East Zone spinner Taijul Islam bagged a fifer to help bowl out Central Zone for a modest 213 in 75.1 overs. Taijul gave away just 58 runs in 22 overs, of which eight were maidens. For Central Zone, opener Saif Hassan played a patient 214-ball 58 while it was a 60-ball 46 from Taibur Rahman in the middle that helped their cause. Both Saif and Taibur eventually fell prey to Taijul’s wiles.
After the exchange, East Zone played just two deliveries and were still to open their scoring when the umpires called stumps because of bad light.
SCORES IN BRIEF
South Zone: 262 all out in 67.4 overs (Fazle 125, Mahmudullah 31; Sumon 3-67, Ebadot 2-51)
North Zone: 46 for five in 12 overs (Rony 26 not out; Shafiul 5-30)
Central Zone: 213 all out in 75.1 overs (Saif 58, Taibur 46; Taijul 5-58, Jayed 2-38)
East Zone: 0 for no loss in 0.2 overs (Pinak 0 not out, Tamim 0 not out)