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Final, Cox's Bazar, March 04 - 07, 2023, Bangladesh Cricket League

South Z (BD) won by an innings and 33 runs


South Zone crowned BCL champions for the sixth time after crushing win over Central Zone

Shadman Islam stars with double-ton before Khaled Ahmed's five-wicket burst in the second innings rattles Central Zone

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Players of South Zone, Bangladesh Cricket League champions, pose with the trophy, Central Zone vs South Zone, Final, Cox's Bazaar, 4th day, March 7, 2023

Bangladesh Cricket League champions South Zone pose with the trophy  •  BCB

South Zone 500 for 5 dec (Shadman 246, Marshall 120, Murad 2-147) beat Central Zone 230 (Jaker 53, Ariful 40, Nazmul 3-61, Anamul 2-7) and 237 (Hider 77, Sharifullah 63, Khaled 5-74, Nazmul 3-48) by an innings and 33 runs
South Zone cruised to their sixth Bangladesh Cricket League (BCL) title, defeating Central Zone by an innings-and-33 runs in the final in Cox's Bazar. Central Zone were the defending champions, but in consecutive matches now were outclassed by South Zone in this year's league.
South Zone dominated the contest from start to finish. Shadman Islam's maiden double-century set-up his team's big first innings score. During the course of his knock, Shadman set a new Bangladesh first-class record for batting the longest time in an innings - 674 minutes - beating Raqibul Hasan's 660 minutes set 16 years ago.
Shadman stayed firm despite seeing three early wickets fall at the other end early, but he added 154 runs with Fazle Mahmud (61), for the fourth wicket. Then came a marathon 218-run fifth wicket stand with Marshall Ayub, who smoked nine fours in his 120. The pair batted together for just over five hours, as South Zone declared on 500 for 5 in the last session on the second day. Shadman struck 29 fours and three sixes during his 448-ball 246 before falling to part-timer Mohammad Mithun.
Central Zone failed to get anywhere near South Zone's big score. They were bowled out for 230 in the first innings, with Jaker Ali top-scoring with 53. Left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam took three wickets, while fast bowler Sumon Khan and part-timer Anamul Haque picked up two wickets each.
South Zone enforced the follow-on and then had Central Zone on the mat reducing them to 5 for 3, with Soumya Sarkar, Abdul Mazid and Shuvagata Hom falling quickly. Mithun made 49 while Sharifullah's 63 and Abu Hider's 77 helped them get to 237, but it wasn't enough to prevent an innings defeat.
Khaled Ahmed took a five-wicket haul in the second innings, while Nazmul took three wickets. Moin Khan picked up two wickets too.
Roll of honour: Season-wise BCL winners
2012-13 - Central Zone
2013-14 - South Zone
2014-15 - South Zone
2015-16 - Central Zone
2016-17 - North Zone
2017-18 - South Zone
2018-19 - South Zone
2019-20 - South Zone
2021-22 - Central Zone
2022-23 - South Zone

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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