Clinical East Zone clinch BCL title

Clinical East Zone clinch BCL title

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Islami Bank East Zone became inaugural champions of the Bangladesh Cricket League’s One-Day competition after a thrilling three-wicket win over BCB North Zone in Mirpur. Despite rain stopping play for 78 minutes during East Zone’s chase and being set a stiff revised target, they won with an over to spare. The final flourish was provided by Abul Hasan and Arafat Sunny, who added the last 40 runs off just 2.4 overs. Both struck three fours and a six each, with Abul making 39 off 35 balls while Sunny blazed 18 off just seven balls. East Zone’s chase started with a jolt when Tamim Iqbal holed out to Taijul Islam at mid-off in the second over. But the counterattack was spectacular from Litton Das and Mominul Haque who added 102 runs off just 13.3 overs to restore the balance of the contest. Litton struck two sixes and six fours in his 37-ball 50. He teed off in Taijul’s first over, blasting the left-arm spinner for three fours in a row and then a six after a dot ball. The tenth over cost 18 runs, and East Zone were in tune with the chase. Mominul, who got out in the 27th over, made 78 off 77 balls with ten fours, his first fifty in any competitive match since the Zimbabwe series last year. It will be an innings that would give him some confidence going into the ODI series against Pakistan. After the rain break, East Zone needed a further 147 runs in 26 overs. Their chase was derailed when they lost Tasamul Haque, Alok Kapali, Mominul and Nazmul Hossain Milon in quick succession, but Asif Ahmed struck a 52-ball 46 with four fours and a six to keep them in the game. When he left in the 43rd over, North Zone had a sniff but were blazed away by the Abul-Sunny unbroken eighth-wicket partnership. Taijul took three wickets for 56 runs while Farhad Reza picked up two wickets.
Earlier East Zone’s decision to bowl first looked justified. Junaid Siddique and Naeem Islam fell early and when Mushfiqur Rahim was dismissed in the 19th over, North Zone had slipped to 88 for 3.Thereafer, Mahmudul Hasan added 140 runs for the fourth wicket with captain Nasir Hossain. It was a stroke-filled passage of play that lasted 23.2 overs and completely transformed the North Zone innings. Mahmudul reached his maiden List-A century, off 127 balls with 10 fours, by rushing for a second run after pushing towards long-on. His innings ended in the 43rd over when Asif Ahmed picked up his wicket for 110 runs off 132 balls, which included eleven fours.Nasir fell in the 47th over for 96 off 84 balls with eight fours and two sixes. Ariful Haque and Delwar Hossain made 17 each, but their efforts were not enough to push their score past the 300-run mark in the end overs. Asif Ahmed and Arafat Sunny picked up two wickets each.

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