After Mohammad Mithun's classy ton on the third day, it was Mosaddek Hossain's unbeaten century on the last day yesterday that proved instrumental in Prime Bank South Zone overcoming a first-innings disappointment to the extent that they had the better of a draw against Walton Central Zone in their Bangladesh Cricket League fifth-round match at the Shaheed Kamruzzaman Stadium in Rajshahi.
Gaining six points in the game, South Zone (44) are still 14 points behind North Zone who are at the top of the table with 58 points after earning 17 points during their comprehensive innings-and-28-run win over East Zone the previous day. With 39 points in five games Central Zone are one point behind Islami Bank East Zone at the bottom of the four-team table.
The championship however will still depend on the sixth and final round game between holders North Zone and South Zone starting from April 24 at the Sheikh Abu Nasir Stadium in Khulna. A draw will be enough for North to retain the title while South will have to win and win big to overcome the points deficit. Central Zone will take on East Zone in Rajshahi in the other game.
The final day resumed with South, on 348 for six, not yet out of the woods as they had incurred a first-innings deficit of 111 and were just 237 runs ahead on a green pitch. Mosaddek resumed his knock on 22 and went on to strike his second hundred of the league, remaining unbeaten on 102 off 107 balls with 10 fours and four sixes.
Mosaddek added 121 runs for the eighth wicket with Nayeem Hasan before the latter was dismissed after scoring 48. That was the signal for South skipper when skipper Nurul Hasan to declare the innings on 484 for eight just before lunch, setting an improbably target of 374 runs.
In reply, Central Zone ended up scoring 155 for five with Abdul Mazid hitting an unbeaten 60, while opener Saif Hasan added 43 runs. After bagging six wickets in the first innings, veteran left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak scalped three in the second innings for South Zone.
Earlier in the match, South Zone were bundled out for just 191 run in their first innings on a green track with pacer Ebadat Hossain and left-arm spinner Mosharraf Hossain bagging four wickets each for the bowling side.
Central Zone in reply took a first-innings lead of 111 runs and were all out for 302 riding on opener Shadman Islam's 93.
SCORES IN BRIEF
South Zone: First innings 191 and second innings 484 for 8 decl (Anamul 45, Imrul 30, Tushar 88, Mithun 118, Ziaur 25, Mosaddek 102 not out, Nayeem 43; Hider 2-80, Mosharraf 3-110, Tanbir 2-85)
Central Zone: First innings 302 and second innings 158 for 5 (Saif 43, Mazid 60 not out; Razzak 3-73)
Result: Match drawn.