DHAKA Khulna Division retained its top spot in the
top tier of National Cricket League (NCL) after clinching a thrilling one-
wicket victory over Rangpur Division in their fourth match at the Sher-e-
Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.
Their second victory in the league took their points tally to 26.46,
almost six points clear to their next rivals Dhaka Division who collects 20.6
Khulna seemed to have lost the momentum and was on course of their first
defeat in the season when they were reduced to 130-5 on day three, chasing
the victory target of 203.
Overnight unbeaten pair Mahedi Hasan and Ziaur Rahman, who joined
together in the crease after the side was at tittering 68-5, finally combined
for a 109 runs partnership.
Mahedi who scored 119 in first innings, was dismissed on 56 and few
moments later Ziaur Rahman was also out on 53, giving Rangpur a chance to
claw back into the match.
Khulna's lower order showed their stubbornness and helped the side
finally grab a victory from the jaws of defeat. Moinul Islam was unbeaten on
Sohrawardhi Shuvo was the most successful bowler for Rangpur with 6-55
but that went in vain finally.
Rangpur scored 224 in their first innings before Mahedi with ton helped
Khulna earn a slender 9 runs lead as Khulna was bowled out for 233.
In a bowling favourable wicket, Rangpur posted 211 in their second
innings, to set a 203-run winning target for Khulna.
Khulna's skipper Abdur Razzak finished with 12-140, including 7-for and
5-for in two innings. But young gun Mahedi edged him to be man of the match
for his splendid batting show.
Khulna is the only one team in this round who couldn't win their game by
innings margin. In the rest of the three matches in two Tiers of NCL, the
winning team won by innings margin.
In Tier-1 game between Dhaka and Rajshahi, the former registered an
innings and 4 runs victory at Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium in
Cox's Bazar. Rajshahi was all out for 230 after which Dhaka, rode on three
centuries of Taibur Rahman (102), Shuvagata Hom (104) and skipper Nadif
Chowdhury (101 not out), declared their innings on 475-7. Rajshahi showed
pretty ordinary batting show in second innings too and was bowled out for 241
to taste innings defeat.
Earlier, both of the Tier-2 games ended inside three days.
Sylhet Division recorded an innings and 32 runs win over Barishal
Division at Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium, Ground-2 in Cox's
Bazar to take the top spot of Tier-2 with 22.54 points.
Dhaka Metro on the other hand, crushed Chattogram Division by an innings
and 64 runs margin at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)