Sixteen wickets fell at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra yesterday as the final-round game between Khulna and Rajshahi headed towards an enthralling finish. Khulna, who need to either win or draw the game in order to win the 14th National Cricket League (NCL) title, currently lead by 171 runs.
Vying for the title alongside the league leaders, second-placed Dhaka is in a comfortable position as they finished the day on 255 for 5 at the end of the second day, one short of Barisal's first innings total at the Shaheed Kamruzzaman Stadium in Rajshahi.
A five wicket haul from Mohammad Ashraful helped Dhaka Metro reduce Sylhet to 148 for 9 at the Cricket Garden in Rangpur, while a stunning 157 from Liton Kumar at the Sylhet Divisional Stadium helped Rangpur reach 260 for the loss of two wickets against Chittagong yesterday.
BARISAL v DHAKA
In a must-win game for the capital city, Dhaka rode on their top order batsmen Rony Talukdar and Shuvagata Hom, both of whom guided the team with half-centuries. Earlier Barisal were bowled out for 256 in the morning session.
CHITTAGONG v RANGPUR
Riding on Liton's century, Rangpur began strongly after Chittagong were bowled out for 350 yesterday. Liton was ably supported by Tanvir Haider's unbeaten half-century. The port city currently lead the game by 90 runs.
DHAKA METRO v SYLHET
Dhaka Metro are in complete control of the game in Rangpur as Ashraful's five-for made short work of the Sylhet batting. Alok Kapali fought briefly with a 42 but was bowled off Sharifullah in the last session of the game.
KHULNA v RAJSHAHI
Rajshahi stumbled from an overnight score of 90 for 1 to getting bowled out for 222, six behind Khulna in the first innings. However, they came back in the game through their bowlers as they picked up eight quick wickets to leave Khulna on 165 for eight at the close.
SCORES IN BRIEF
BARISAL: First innings 256 all out in 92.1 overs. DHAKA: First innings 255 for 5 in 84 overs (Rony 85, Shuvagata 71; Kamrul 3-23, Monir 2-89)
CHITTAGONG: First innings 350 all out in 95.4 overs. RANGPUR: First innings 260 for 2 in 73 overs. (Liton 157, Tanvir 58 not out; Yasir 1-40)
DHAKA METRO: First innings 345 all out in 96.1 overs (Marshal 116, Merhab 110; Abu 4-67). SYLHET: First innings 148 for 9 in 63 overs (Alok 42; Ashraful 5-40)
KHULNA: First innings 228 all out in 59.1 overs (Imrul 60, Soumya 31; Saqlain
3-27,Forhad 3-29) and second innings 165 for 8 in 35 overs (Kayes 59,Soumya36 not out; Forhad 4-58, Taijul 3-19). RAJSHAHI: First innings 222 all out in 66.1 overs (Myshukur 64;Murad 3-42, Robiul 3-67).