When Islami Bank East Zone resumed on 110 for no loss on the third day of their Bangladesh Cricket League game against leaders North Zone at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday, it gave little indication of what actually unfolded.
They were bowled out twice and suffered a humiliating innings-and-28 run defeat. East, chasing North's imposing first-innings score of 415, were bowled out for 217 in their first essay and that too after Liton Das (69) and Tasamul Haque put on 122 runs for the opening stand.
Forced to follow-on, East turned from bad to worse as they were shot out for 170 in their second essay, where the innings lasted only 38.1 overs. It could have been more humiliating had Shohag Gazi (50) and Saifuddin Ahmed (32) not offered some resistance lower down the order after they were reduced to 91 for seven.
The wreckers-in-chief for North were their two young pacers -- a gangling right-arm medium fast Yeasin Arafat and left-arm quick Shoriful Islam, who has a peculiar stop-start run up. They evenly shared 14 wickets between them on a green top where East lacked the necessary application after the departure of opener Tasamul in the sixth over of the day.
Tasamul's departure sparked a stunning collapse that saw East losing 10 wickets for 95 runs. Yeasin, who was smashed for 21 runs in his first two overs on the second day, took four wickets for 39 runs from eight overs. His partner in the demolition, Shoriful also claimed four wickets for 33 runs.
The pair was also in the thick of things when East came out to bat again in the post-lunch session. Yeasin took three for 16 to finish with a match haul of seven for 55 while Shoriful took three for 21 for match figures of seven for 54.
The win offered a windfall of points for North, who have profited with as many as 17 to raise their tally to 58 points, 18 more than the vanquished East's 40.
At Rajshahi, Prime Bank South thrived on a fine century from wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Mithun to more than compensate their disappointing first-innings effort against Walton Central Zone. Riding on Mithun's blistering 118 and Tushar Imran's 88, South finished the third day on 348 for six -- a lead of 237 runs.
Resuming the day on 50 for one two hours after the scheduled start due to a wet outfield caused by overnight rain, South slipped to 84 for three, losing both overnight batsmen Anamul Haque (45) and Imrul Kayes (30) in quick succession.
But Mithun and Tushar bailed them out with a brilliant 193-run stand for the fourth wicket. Mithun's 11th first-class century contained 16 boundaries and a six. Tushar, the lone Bangladesh batsman to have scored 10,000 first-class runs, struck 10 fours and a six in his compact 141-ball innings.
However, the game is heading for a draw unless something extraordinary, which was on display in Dhaka yesterday, happens in the northern headquarters of the country on the fourth and final day today.