Opener Pinak Ghosh's century and Afif Hossain 93 put BCB South Zone's victory bid on hold on the third day of the 2nd round of the Bangladesh Cricket League (BCL) at academy ground of the Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium in Cox's Bazar on Sunday.
East Zone, who secured win in the opening round, were skittled out for 306 in the first innings on the third morning and were enforced to follow-on. But they produced an amazing fightback in the second innings and managed 323 for five before ending day three. Afif Hossain was on 93 and Zakir Hasan on 28.
Earlier, Nasir Hossain and Zakir Hasan started the day but they failed to make a good start. East Zone lost their remaining five wickets by adding only 36 runs. South Zone's Mahedi Hasan produced stunning all-round display as he took five wickets for 102 runs after hitting blazing century in the first innings.
Veteran Abdur Razzak also claimed three wickets. East Zone however started their second innings on positive note with openers Pinak Ghosh and Mohammad Ashraful making 40-run stand.
East Zone went to tea break on a satisfied 180 for four where Pinak Ghosh reached his century. After tea break Pinak and Afif kept South Zone bowlers at bay as the duo shared 60 runs for the fifth wickets. The stand was broken after Pinak was runout for 121 with a terrible mix-up. His century was laced by 14 fours and four sixes.
Afif and Zakir then finished the day without further trouble. Afif hit 11 fours and a six in his 124-ball stay,Meanwhile, Walton Central Zone are on the brink of first victory in BCL as they head into day four needing a further five wickets to dismiss North Zone's second innings with North Zone still needing 174 runs to clinch victory.
Pacer Shahidul Islam took two late wickets including Mushfiqur Rahim as North Zone were under pressure while chasing 330 runs for win. At the close North Zone reached 156 for five with Tanbir Hayder was batting on 54.
It was yet another bowlers' day at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium as North Zone dismissed Central Zone's second innings in 325 runs despite skipper Shuvagata Hom's 122 run innings. North Zone pacer Salauddin Sakil claimed four wickets while Sumon Khan took three wickets.
Chasing 330 for win, North Zone lost their openers early in 19 runs. Skipper Naeem Islam and Tanbir then showed some resistance in middle with the high hopes of finishing the day on high but the drama came when Shahidul gave further boost his team by picking Mushfiq (38) and Ariful (3) shortly before stumps.
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