Defending champions South Zone clinched their fifth Bangladesh Cricket League (BCL) title after defeating East Zone by 105 runs in the final at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram yesterday.
The five-day final ended on the fourth day, thanks to a collective and disciplined bowling approach from South Zone. The BCB-run South Zone, who already had the upper hand in the game, started the day on 125 for eight in their second innings with a 338-run lead.
And although South Zone were bundled out for 140, that still meant that they had posted a formidably 354-run target, courtesy of hefty lead they secured in the first innings.
Then, South's bowling attack, boasting the likes of Shafiul Islam, Al-Amin Hossain, Mahedi Hasan, Abdur Razzak and Forhad Reza, bundled out East Zone in 68.4 overs for 248 to become champions.
Shafiul and Al-Amin set the innings off brightly as the former scalped two while Al-Amin picked up one during their opening spell and left East Zone reeling at 33 for three after 10.4 overs. However, Mahmudul Hasan and all-rounder Afif Hossain started the rebuilding process but their promising 85-run fourth-wicket stand was brought to an end by off-spinner Mahedi Hasan. Mahedi had Afif stumped in the 27th over after the all-rounder scored a 42-ball 31.
After that, Forhad who joined the party as the veteran all-rounder scalped the wickets of Bangladesh Under-19 batsman Tanzid Hasan and Mahmudul, who had top-scored for East with a 104-ball 81, in consecutive overs to expose the tail.
After that it was just a matter of time for South to get to their fifth BCL title. Their wait was made a little longer, courtesy of a stubborn Zakir Hasan who stuck around for almost two hours and 81 balls to score 42. But Zakir too fell in the 58th over. For South Zone, both Shafiul and Mahedi took three wickets each.
SCORES IN BRIEF
South Zone: First innings 486 all out and second innings 140 all out (Mahmudullah 17, Mahedi 53; Mahmud 4-35, Hider 4-52, Ruyel 2-22)
East Zone: First innings 273 all out and second innings 248 all out (Mahmudul 81, Afif 31, Zakir 42; Shafiul 3-56, Reza 2-51, Mahedi 3-66)
Result: South Zone won by 105 runs.
Player-of-the-match: Farhad Reza.
Player-of-the-series: Anamul Haque.
ROLL OF HONOUR
Year Champions Runners-up
2012-2013 Central Zone North Zone
2013-2014 South Zone North Zone
2014-2015 South Zone East Zone
2015-2016 Central Zone East Zone
2016-2017 North Zone South Zone
2017-2018 South Zone North Zone
2018-2019 South Zone East Zone
2019-2020 South Zone East Zone