Rangpur beat Khulna comfortably; Dhaka Division, Dhaka Metropolis top respective tiers

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A wrap of the matches from the National Cricket League, Bangladesh’s domestic first-class competition

Mukidul Islam powers Rangpur against Khulna
Pace bowler Mukidul Islam’s career-best figures powered Rangpur Division to a seven-wicket win against Khulna Division in the NCL’s Tier 1 match at the Rangpur Cricket Garden. Mukidul’s match-haul of 12 for 131 meant defending champions Khulna lost their first game since October 2018, and suffered their first defeat against Rangpur in six years.

Mukidul took wickets off the first two balls of the match when he removed Robiul Islam Robi and Imrul Kayes. He had figures of 6 for 64 in the first innings, while Ariful Haque and Nobin Islam took two wickets each. Only Tushar Imran’s 116 kept Khulna afloat, as they were bowled out for 221 on the first day. He struck 21 fours in his 136-ball innings in what was his 32nd first-class hundred.

Rangpur replied with a 143-run first-innings lead having being bowled out for 364. Ariful made 97 off 164 balls with 11 fours, while Nasir Hossain struck 66. Masum Khan took four wickets.

Mukidul removed Robi off the first ball of Khulna’s second innings, as Robi became the fourth opener to be dismissed first ball in both innings of a first-class match in the last 15 years, the others being Mehedi Maruf in 2019, Omar Phillips in 2011 and Javed Omar in 2007.

But Khulna’s batting unit did slightly better in the second innings through fifties from Amit Majumder and Ziaur Rahman, as they got to 259. Mukidul grabbed 6 for 67, while from Mahmudul Hasan got two wickets and Ariful and Sohrawordi Shuvo got one each. On the fourth day, Rangpur completed the fourth innings chase by getting to their target of 117, with Nasir unbeaten on 48.

Dhaka Division consolidate top position in Tier 1
Dhaka Division consolidated their lead on top of the Tier 1 points table following their drawn game against Sylhet Division. Batting first, Zakir Hasan’s second successive century helped Sylhet to 370. Zakir made 159 off 228 balls with 17 fours and two sixes, adding 155 runs for the fourth wicket with Jaker Ali, who made 67. Asadulla Al Galib also made 67, while Shuvagata Hom took four wickets for Dhaka.

Hom followed the wickets with his 13th first-class century, hitting 13 fours and two sixes in his knock of 114 off 133 balls. Dhaka, however, were bowled out for 280 with left-arm spinner Rahatul Ferdous taking career-best figures of 7 for 75 for Sylhet.

Sylhet replied with 219 in their second innings, with Galib top scoring with 82 off 164 balls, leaving Dhaka with 310 to win. But Dhaka reached 147 as the game ended in a draw, with veteran left-arm spinner Enamul Haque jnr taking three wickets.

Dhaka Metropolis remain on top in Tier 2
Dhaka Metropolis and Chittagong Division also played out a draw in Cox’s Bazar, keeping the former in pole position in Tier 2 despite Rajshahi Division’s demolition of Barisal Division inside two days.

Chittagong declared their first innings on 402 for 8, their first 400-plus total in three-and-a-half years. Opener Pinak Ghosh struck a career-best 159 – his third first-class century – as he added 109 runs for the fourth wicket with Yasir Ali. Ghosh put on another 108 for the fifth wicket with Shahadat Hossain Dipu, who made 53.

Left-hander Ghosh struck 14 fours and two sixes in his 302-ball innings that kept him at the crease for seven hours and 44 minutes.

Dhaka Metro reached 267 in reply with fifties from Zahiduzzaman and Shamsur Rahman, while Hasan Murad took 5 for 72 for Chittagong. Chittagong declared their second innings on 234, leaving Dhaka Metro to negotiate 50 overs, after which they finished on 148, as the match ended in a draw.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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