Khulna Division took over the top spot in the NCL’s Tier 1 after their drawn game against Dhaka Metropolis in Fatullah. Khulna’s eight points from this outing gave them a six-point lead over second-placed Dhaka Metro, who took ten points from the game.
Centuries from Shamsur Rahman and Mahmudullah helped Dhaka Metro post 399 in the first innings. The pair added 124 for the third wicket with Shamsur the aggressor of the two, making his 144 at a strike-rate of 86.22 with 18 fours and five sixes. Mahmudullah made 132 off 224 balls with 14 fours. For Khulna, the offspinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz took five wickets.
Imrul Kayes replied firmly for Khulna with his 163 off 275, which had 17 fours and seven sixes. He added 135 for the fifth wicket with Nurul Hasan, who made 76. Left-arm seamer Abu Hider picked up four wickets as Dhaka Metro took a 32-run first-innings lead.
In their second innings, Dhaka Metro were bowled out for 262 with only Sharifullah (67) making a fifty while Abdur Razzak and Miraz took three wickets each. With a target of 295, Khulna batted out the last 20 overs of the game safely to reach 84 for 2.
At the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra, Rangpur Division could only draw against Dhaka Division despite being in an advantageous position. The result could have an adverse effect on their position in Tier 1 next season as they are in the drop-zone on 30 points.
Centuries from Tariq Ahmed, Naeem Islam and Dhiman Ghosh stretched Rangpur’s first innings to 463. Tariq and Naeem added 161 for the third wicket after Rangpur had lost two wickets in the first 2.3 overs. Ghosh then batted well with the lower order to ensure the 450-plus total. Medium-pacer Dewan Sabbir took four wickets while left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam took three wickets.
Dhaka were bowled out for 276 – a deficit of 187 – and asked to follow-on. Raqibul Hasan scored the lone fifty of the Dhaka innings while Sajedul Islam and Bishawnath Halder took three wickets each. In their second innings, Dhaka batted better, ending the game on 247 for 4 in 98 overs with Saif Hassan making 84 and Nadif Chowdhury staying unbeaten on 58.
Sylhet Division moved up from the bottom of Tier 2 with a five-wicket win over home side Chittagong Division.
Set 260 to win on the final day, Sylhet openers Imtiaz Hossain and Shanaj Ahmed added 140 in 30.3 overs, after which Zakir Hasan and Abul Hasan, promoted to stay up with the asking-rate, added 48 for the third wicket before the latter was run out for 19.
Zakir made an important half-century but he was dismissed with four runs needed. Ruman Ahmed struck a six to win the game with 15 minutes remaining.
Sylhet had taken a 13-run first-innings lead with a total of 283. Chittagong had made 270 after Abul took four wickets, two of which came in an encouraging opening spell on the first day. Rahatul Ferdous‘ four wickets helped Sylhet bowl out Chittagong for 272 in the second innings, leaving them a target of 260 in just over four hours.
With the wicket of Shanaj Ahmed in the Sylhet second innings, Nabil became the sixth Bangladeshi bowler to reach 300 first-class wickets. Interestingly, this was the first time Nabil was playing first-class cricket away from Sylhet, for Chittagong.
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