Bangladesh Cricket League March 1, 2017

North Zone register crushing victory

File photo - Naeem Islam's 142 was his third successive century, and fourth overall, in this edition of the tournament © AFP

North Zone put themselves six points ahead of second-placed South Zone in the Bangladesh Cricket League points table after their innings-and-85-run win over Central Zone in Sylhet.

Central Zone were bowled out for 181 in their first innings, as left-arm spinner Sunzamul Islam extended his good form with 5 for 45, his second five-for of the tournament so far. Farhad Reza took 3 for 41. Saif Hassan's 63 was the lone half-century in Central Zone's innings.

Then Naeem Islam, Nazmul Hossain Shanto and Dhiman Ghosh struck centuries as North Zone piled up 537 in reply, taking a 356-run lead.

Naeem top-scored with 142 off 285 balls that included 20 boundaries and a six. He added 197 runs for the fifth wicket with Shanto, who made 123 off 142 balls, including 18 fours. Naeem then added 126 runs for the seventh wicket with Dhiman, who struck 14 fours in his 113. Dhiman was also part of a 60-run partnership for the ninth wicket with Alauddin Babu, who chipped in with a 67-ball 54. Naeem's 142 was his third successive hundred, and fourth overall, in the tournament, and took his run tally in the series to 567.

Saif replied with a second fifty in the game, but Central Zone couldn't wipe out their deficit and were bowled out 271 in 76 overs. Saif's 98-ball 70 included eight fours and two sixes. Tanbir Hayder also struck 51.

Babu took four wickets while Sunzamul took three to take his match haul to 8 for 159.

East Zone lifted themselves up from the last place on the table after a draw against South Zone at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong. They finished the game with three points, while South Zone took only one point.

Batting first, South Zone were bowled out for 296 after Mohammad Saifuddin and Saqlain Sajib took three wickets each. Imrul Kayes, who is attempting to prove his fitness for a spot in the second Test squad in Colombo, struck 136 off 210 balls that had 18 fours and two sixes. Anamul Haque made 58 but the rest of the South Zone batsmen crumbled.

East Zone replied well, declaring on 523 for 7, which gave them a lead of 227 runs. Afif Hossain made 137 off 238 balls with the help of 17 fours. Tasamul Haque missed out on a century by two runs, while Alok Kapali (66), Mohammad Saifuddin (50 not out) and Rahatul Ferdous (60 not out) also struck fifties.

On the final day, South Zone moved to 198 for 5 in 96 overs, with nearly all their batsmen getting starts.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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