Razzak dazzles with 15
Left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak returned with his best bowling figures in a match as Khulna posted an eight-wicket victory over Barisal on the third day of the four-day match in the 13th National Cricket League at the Sylhet Divisional Stadium yesterday.
The out-of-favour Razzak claimed 15 scalps in the match when he took 7 for 70 to wrap up the Barisal second innings for 194 runs to make sure his team had to chase only a paltry target of 165 runs to secure their first outright victory in two games.
“I'm really happy after the way I bowled in the match. The wicket helped me to earn my best bowling figures in a match as there was turn in the pitch. Now my main target is to continue my good form in the National Cricket League,” said an excited Razzak, who was dropped from the Test team for the ongoing two-match series against the visiting West Indies.
After the staggering performance from the experienced Razzak, the main question was whether it was the best bowling figures in a match in the country's lone first-class competition but nobody could confirm it as records of the competition are not preserved in any archive, though everybody guessed it as the best bowling figures.
At the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra, defending champions Rajshahi bounced back strongly from their first round defeat against Dhaka Metro as they registered a 58-run victory over Rangpur on the third day.
Out of four games, only the battle between Sylhet and Chittagong entered into the fourth day, where after a long break Nafis Iqbal showed his character to stay at the crease for a long period of time as the right-hander scored 104 runs during his more than five hours stay at the middle.
It became a one man show as Razzak almost single-handedly took his team to a victory; the seasoned campaigner not only shone with the leather but also blazed with the bat to give his team a first innings lead.
Man-of-the-match Razzak followed up his 8 for 123 in the first innings with 7 for 70 as Barisal were bundled out for 194 runs to set a 165-run winning target for Khulna, who rode on the unbeaten 120-run third wicket partnership between Tushar Imran and Amit Majumder to reach 167 for two in 40.5 overs.
Spinner Sohag Gazi captured two early wickets but Tushar, who was not out on 69 off 89 balls with eleven fours and a six, joined Amit to take his team to victory. Amit made an unbeaten 56 off 123 balls that featured six fours and two sixes.
Saqlain Sajib and Forhad Hossain combined to equally share eight wickets to demolish Rangpur's second innings for 128 runs. Sajib returned with a match haul of eight wickets when he captured four for 49 while Forhad, who was later adjudged man-of-the-match for his all-round performance, grabbed four wickets for 15 runs.
Mahmudul Hasan's five-for however created an opportunity for Rangpur when Rajshahi were all out for 210 runs in 67 overs to chase a 187-run winning target but the brittle batting in the second innings spoiled the party.
Forhad, who resumed the day on 55, hit a 157-ball 84 with eight boundaries in Rajshahi's second essay.
Riding on Nafis's hundred, Chittagong took a 155-run first innings lead when they declared their innings at 425-9 after resuming the day on 145 for three.
Aftab Ahmed made 42, Nur Hossain added 45 while Sadit Hossain contributed 41 runs but it was number ten batsman Yasin Arafat who frustrated the Sylhet bowlers most by making a 73-ball 55 with seven boundaries and two sixes.
Alok Kapali was the most successful bowler with 3-96.
The match seemed to be heading for a draw as Sylhet finished the day's play without any damage for 51 runs.
RAJSHAHI: First innings 206 and second innings (overnight 149-5) 210 all out in 67 overs (Jahurul 39, Forhad 84; Hasan 5-39, Babu 3-51)
RANGPUR: First innings 230 all out and second innings 128 all out in 42.2 overs (Hasan 28; Sajib 4-49, Forhad 4-15)
Result: Rajshahi won by 58 runs.
BARISAL: First innings 302 and second innings 194 all out in 52.1 overs (Salman 41; Razzak 7-70, Dollar 2-31).
KHULNA: First innings 332 and second innings 167-2 in 40.5 overs (Amit 56 not out, Tushar 69 not out; Sohag 2-51)
Result: Khulna won by eight wickets.
SYLHET: First innings 270-9dec and second innings 51-0 (Imtiaz 23 not out, Sayem 22 not out).
CHITTAGONG: First innings (overnight 145-3) 425-9dec in 134 overs (Nafis 104, Aftab 42, Nur 45, Sadit 41 not out, Yasin 55; Kapali 3-96, Robiul 2-65, Saker 2-70)