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Arafat, Shoriful strangle East Zone twice to seal innings victory

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North Zone bowled out East Zone twice on the third day as they romped to an innings-and-28-run win at the Shere Bangla National Stadium. Rookie pace bowlers Yeasin Arafat and Shoriful Islam shared 14 of those wickets as they extracted ample assistance from an unusually green Mirpur pitch.

East Zone began the third day at 110 for no loss, in reply to North Zone’s first-innings total of 415. However, after Shafiul Islam broke the Tasamul Haque-Liton Das opening stand at 122 in the 33rd over – the morning session’s sixth – the East Zone first innings disintegrated to 217 all out just after lunch. From 161 for 2, they lost their remaining eight wickets for only 56 runs.

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Arafat and Shoriful took four wickets each while Shafiul and Taijul Islam had one each. Arafat and Shoriful repeated their combined offensive when East Zone followed on, taking three wickets each this time while Shafiul also bagged a three-for. East Zone slipped to 91 for 7 before Sohag Gazi’s 38-ball 50 took them past 150, adding a semblance of respectability to the total. They were eventually bowled out for 170.

Arafat was adjudged Player of the Match even though the North Zone captain Jahurul Islam and Ariful Haque had struck centuries, adding 184 runs for the sixth wicket after their team had slipped to 166 for 5. Jahurul made 113 off 238 balls with the help of 12 fours while Ariful struck seven fours and a six in his 101 off 236 balls. Ariful also took a brilliant diving catch at third slip during East Zone’s second innings to dismiss opposition captain Mominul Haque.

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