This is the sixth title for Rajshahi, equaling Khulna Division, in 18 editions of the NCL
Rajshahi Division won the National Cricket League title for the record sixth time as they beat Barisal Division by six wickets in the final day of their sixth and final round match on Thursday at Shahid Kamruzzaman Stadium, Rajshahi. This is the sixth title for Rajshahi, equaling Khulna Division, in 18 editions of the NCL.
The loss meant Barisal, who ended fourth in the tier-1, got demoted to the tier-2 as Khulna drew their match against Rangpur Division at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra.
Meanwhile in tier-2, Dhaka Division drew with Sylhet to finish on top and ensured their promotion to tier-1. In the other match of the round Dhaka Metropolis and Chittagong ended on a stalemate.
Rajshahi v Barisal
Chasing 284 Rajshahi resumed on 182-2 and experienced batsman Junaid Siddique made sure his side reached home as he remained not out on 120. The 31-year old, who scored 78 in the first innings, made a crucial 149-run stand with skipper Jahurul Islam before the latter perished for 64, leaving the side only 32 runs away from victory.
Rajshahi made a giant stride en route to championship in the very first day of this match as their bowlers bundled out Barisal for just 97 runs. In reply, Rajshahi batsmen also struggled but Junaid played a crucial hand to help his side post 160 and take a vital 63-run lead.
Khulna v Rangpur
The hat-trick champions of previous three editions, Khulna were in the verge of defeat in the match which would relegate them to tier-2. But resuming on 192-6, two overnight batsmen Ziaur Rahman and Mainul Islam, who scored 52 and 55 eventually, stretched their partnership to 265 that gave their side some safety. Although the last four wickets fell for just 17 Khulna made 282 to set a target of 294.
Rangpur had to win the match to keep their title hopes alive and made a positive start as their openers Mehedi Maruf and Rakin Ahmed formed a 104-run opening stand. But after the fall of Mehedi, who made 50, others failed to support Rakin and the latter was dismissed for 74 to leave his side on 152-4. Rangpur lost two wickets in quick succession to be reduced to 179-6 and with very little chance of winning. Rajshahi, having already won in the other match meant Khulna was safe from relegation. So, the two captains decided to call it a day before the last hour, when Rangpur was on 184-6.
Sylhet v Dhaka
Rajin Saleh, one of the most decorated first-class players, achieved the feat of scoring fifties in both innings of his last first-class match as the 34-year old Sylhet skipper made 87 in the final day to salvage a draw at Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium Academy Ground. Sylhet had a 108-run first innings deficit and despite Rajin’s heroics, they were in an awkward 181-6 at a stage but two young batsmen Jaker Ali and Shahnur Rahman gave a befitting farewell to their skipper as they ensured the draw by adding 122 runs in the unbeaten seventh wicket. Jaker, the 20-year old wicketkeeper was not out on 77 and 22-year old Shahnur also made 77 before the match was called off with Sylhet on 303-6.
Metro v Chittagong
At, Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium, Cox's Bazar, Metro resumed the day on 86-3 before Samsur Rahman scored 121 runs to help his side reach 261-6. Metro skipper Marshall Ayub set Chittagong a target of 245 but they chose the safe route and made 142-4 in 41 overs.
20th NCL, RD 6, DAY 4
BARISAL 97 & 346 lost to RAJSHAHI 160 & 284/4 in 76 overs (Junaid 120*, Jahurul 64) by six wickets
KHULNA 261 & 282 in 66.3 overs (Soumya 83, Moinul 55) drew with RANGPUR 249/8d & 184/6 in 51 overs (Rakin 74, Mehedi 3/17)
SYLHET 238 & 303/6 in 124 overs (Rajin 87, Jaker 77*) drew with DHAKA 346
DHAKA METROPOLIS 328 & 261/6d in 62 overs (Shamsur 121, Ashraful 43) drew with CHITTAGONG 142/4 in 41 overs (Irfan 44, Asif 2/29)