Dhaka took a giant step forward to regaining the title of the National Cricket League as they achieved maximum bowling bonus points by wrapping up Khulna on the first day of the final round encounter at the Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium in Cox's Bazar yesterday.
With a 21-point advantage over nearest rivals Rajshahi, Dhaka increased their lead to 24 points as they bowled Khulna out for 243 runs in their first innings while on a bowler-dominated day at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong, Rajshahi also managed the maximum three bowling bonus points by dismissing Dhaka Metro for 126. But they also suffered a jolt in their batting, ending the day on 139 for seven.
It was not a day for the batsmen -- the first innings was completed at all four venues. Pacer Delwar Hossain was the best among the bowlers as he claimed five wickets to put Rajshahi on top. On the other hand Ziaur Rahman hit 80, which helped Khulna recover from early strife to score 243.
Sabbir Rahman ensured Rajshahi's first innings lead as he scored 64 in Rajshahi's 139 for seven in reply to Dhaka Metro's 126.
Barisal made the day's highest total with 289 thanks to Shohag Gazi, who made 87 against Rangpur at the Fatullah Outer Stadium while an unbeaten 64 from number eight batsman Saif Uddin helped Chittagong cross the 200 mark against Sylhet at the BKSP.
SCORES IN BRIEF
KHULNA: 243 all out in 81.4 overs (Imrul 39, Nizamuddin 43, Zia 80, Razzak 32; Masum 3-69, Shuvagoto 2-6)
DHAKA: 75-1 in 17.3 overs (Majid 42, Rony 32 not out; Nahidul 1-1)
DHAKA METRO: 126 all out in 37.1 overs (Marshal 30; Delwar 5-41, Forhad 2-19)
RAJSHAHI: 139-7 in 44 overs (Sabbir 64, Mushfiqur 22; Shohid 3-24, Siddiq 2-8)
BARISAL: 289 all out in 66 overs (Rabbi 24, Nuruzzaman 41, Gazi 87, Shahin 45, Kamrul 52; Sajedul 2-22, Hasan 2-67, Shuvo 3-74, Tanvir 2-59)
RANGPUR: 89-2 in 22 overs (Tarik 26, Ashish 22, Nasir 27 not out; Gazi 1-45, Monir 1-12)
CHITTAGONG: 213 all out in 56.4 overs (Mamun 40, Yasir 27, Mominul 35, Saif Uddin 64 not out; Nazmul 2-10, Enamul 3-68, Sadiqur 3-34)
SYLHET: 75-3 in 33 overs (Kapali 28)