Taijul Islam's five-wicket haul helped North Zone to a 74-run victory in the first round of the Bangladesh Cricket League. South Zone's own left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak ended the game with an 11-wicket haul, but it was Taijul's performance that had greater effect on the result of the match.
South Zone were set 231 to win on the final day in Rajshahi but were bowled out for 156. Opener Shaharyar Nafees had done his best with 74 off 125 balls and was the ninth man dismissed. Bu the middle and lower order not handle Taijul, who finished with 5 for 38 in 14.5 overs.
But North Zone owed their dominance to their batsmen. Farhad Hossain and Ariful Haque made 106 and 125 respectively to lead them to 392 in the first innings. Sohag Gazi and Razzak took four wickets each, and South Zone conceded a first-innings lead of 48 runs. Farhad Reza (86), Fazle Mahmud (70) and Taibur Rahman (76) made fifties even as North Zone's Sunzamul Islam took six wickets.
Razzak fought back with 7 for 58 to bowl North Zone out for 182 in their second innings, but the batsmen came up short again.
The game at Bogra was seemed ripe for a successful chase, but ended up a draw as East Zone's Tasamul Haque (91*) ran out of time to overhaul a target of 208. He took the team to 183 for 5 in 41 overs and with no more play possible Central Zone were sighing in relief.
In reply, East Zone had Liton Das (128) and Alok Kapali (100) make tons themselves but they were bowled out for 355. Then new-ball bowlers Hasan and Abu Jayed combined to pick up seven wickets to bowl Central Zone for 168 and create some excitement, but the last day petered down to a stalemate.