Sajid destroys Dhaka
Barisal's left-arm pacer Sajidul Islam took advantage of overcast conditions to the maximum to rattle Dhaka on the first day of the third-round four-dayers of the 9th National Cricket League at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.
The young seamer bowled brilliantly in good line and length to get movement off the pitch and returned with figures of 4-40 to shoot a long Dhaka batting-line out for 157 runs.
Barisal reached 27 without any damage at stumps with skipper Shahriar Nafees (19) and Hannan Sarker (6) at the crease.
The conditions in Chittagong, however, were bright but still the bowlers dictated the terms as the home team rode on out-of-favour paceman Tareq Aziz Khan's four-for to restrict league leaders Rajshahi to 191-9 before stumps were drawn.
At the Fatullah Cricket Stadium, not a single ball was bowled in the match between Khulna and Sylhet due to damp outfield following overnight and morning rain.
Mohammad Ashraful preferred to bat first after winning the toss with hopes that the early morning gloom would improve gradually but the sun only came out in late afternoon when the Dhaka innings was already beyond salvage.
The wicket still did not look too difficult to bat on but poor technique of the home batsmen called for the damage. Left-handed batsman Mehrab Hossain occupied the crease for long during a 139-ball 49 but his three-hour battle was not enough to put up a decent total on board as Dhaka lost wickets at regular intervals.
Veteran Javed Omar contributed second team highest 33 off 94 balls with the help of five boundaries.
"Definitely I'd have not preferred to bat first if I could realise that the overcast condition would last. But still I believe that our batting was poor and I think it was a perfect condition for a batsman to show his real potential," said Ashraful after the day's play.
Sajidul had Anwar Hossain leg before wicket to start the carnage but it was first-change pacer Arafat Salahuddin who broke Dhaka's backbone by removing Al Shahriar and Ashraful to reduce the hosts to 56-3.
Roquibul Hasan took a sharp catch at gully to send back Shahriar for only four while the national skipper, who hooked Talha Jubair for a six over fine leg during his 23-ball 17, was beaten by an in-swinger to be adjudged leg before.
No resistance came from the middle order except as struggling Shamsur Rahman, who played 54 balls to score 16 and associated in a 49-run stand for the sixth wicket with Mehrab.
Dhaka could have finished the day with some solace if Al Shahriar had not dropped Nafees at first slip off left-arm spinner Mosharraf Hossain.
Rajshahi made a confident start after deciding to bat first on a flat track but everything went wrong following the dismissal of the 68-run opening partnership between Jahirul Islam and Zunaed Siddiqui.
Chittagong skipper Ehsanul Haque gave the breakthrough by removing Jahirul for 32. During his 78-ball knock, the right-hander smashed four boundaries and a six.
A dashing Zunaed played an uncharacteristic knock of 78 that came from 210 deliveries with the help of only six fours and a six.
Khaled Mashud and Mushfiqur Rahman looked set to carry the innings but both the ace players were run out on identical scores of 18.
Right-arm pacer Tareq claimed four wickets for 38 runs.
SCORES IN BRIEF
DHAKA: First innings- 157 all out in 63.1 overs (Javed 33, Anwar 2, Al-Shahriar 4, Ashraful 17, Mehrab 49, Riyad 0, Shamsur 16, Mosharraf 1, Sharif 6, Monir 0, Mahbubul 6*; Talha 1-51, Sajidul 4-40, Arafat 2-25, Tariqul 1-27, Roquibul 1-4).
BARISAL: 27-0 in 17 overs (Nafees 19*, Hannan 6*).
RAJSHAHI: 191-9 in 90 overs (Jahirul 32, Zunaed 78, Forhad Reza 7, Nayeem 4, Mashud 18, Mushfiqur 18, Anisur 1, Farhad Hossain 0, Shahjada 0, Delwar 8*, Sajib 7*; Tareq 4-38, Yasin 1-47, Ehsanul 1-14, Saju 1-26).