Khulna Division were eyeing a win in their second-round game of the National Cricket League after they were left requiring 108 runs on the fourth and final day against Rajshahi following an interesting third day which saw a total of 15 wickets fall at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium yesterday.
Khulna resumed on 227 for six and wicketkeeper-batman Nurul Hasan fought a lone battle and was unbeaten three runs shy of a hundred as the hosts were bowled out for 309 runs, taking a 48-run lead.
Nurul hit ten fours and four sixes during his 127-ball 97 and it was then Khulna’s bowlers, pacer Al Amin Hossain and experienced spinner Abdur Razzak, who did brilliantly to bag four wickets each. Mustafizur Rahman scalped the other two as Rajshahi were sent packing for just 170 to present the home side with a small target of 123 runs.
Najmul Hossain top-scored for Rajshahi with a 50 while Mushfiqur Rahim added 44. Khulna lost the wicket of Anamul Haque (4) and ended the day on 15 for one.
At the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram, Liton Das and Naeem Islam struck hundreds as Rangpur replied well and reached 334 for five. However, they are still trailing by 222 runs after Dhaka posted a huge 556 in the first innings and the game looks to be heading for a draw.
Resuming the day on 71 for two, both overnight batsmen Liton and Naeem reached their hundreds. Liton, playing his first game in the league since returning from the Caribbean Premier League, reached his 14th first-class hundred in the first session off 133 balls.
Naeem reached his hundred off 229 balls and he and Liton added 154 for the fourth wicket.
Liton was dismissed for a 189-ball 122 which included 14 fours, but Naeem went on and remained unbeaten on 124. Tanbir Hayder, on fifty, was accompanying him at the crease when stumps were drawn.
With 27 first-class hundreds, Naeem is only behind Tushar Imran, who leads the charts for most first-class tons by a Bangladeshi with 31.
At the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali stadium in Fatullah, Chittagong Division took a crucial first-innings lead after off-spinner Nayeem Hasan scalped four wickets to bundle Barishal out for 216.
Resuming the day on 104 for four, Barishal lost wickets at regular intervals, with Nuruzzaman’s sixty the top score for the batting side. Apart from Nayeem, Mehedi Hasan, Noman Chowdhury and Minhajul Abedin Afridi took two wickets each. In reply, Chittagong ended the third day on 50 for one and a 190-run lead.
Meanwhile, the experienced Mahmudullah Riyad displayed a tremendous amount of patience and remained unbeaten just five runs shy of a hundred as Dhaka Metropolis took a 152-run lead over Sylhet at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogura. Dhaka Metro ended the third day of 225 for six in their second innings.
Resuming the day on nine without loss, Dhaka were in a spot of bother at 74 for four before Mahmudullah attempted to steady the ship. However, he lost partners frequently before Shahidul Islam arrived and the duo stitched together an unbeaten 61-run seventh-wicket stand.
Mahmudullah hit five fours and a six and was unbeaten for a 194-ball 95 while Shahidul was on 29. Imran Ali and Enamul Haque picked up two wickets each for Sylhet.
SCORES IN BRIEF
DHAKA V RANGPUR
DHAKA: First innings 556 for 8 declared
RANGPUR: First innings 334 for five (Liton 122, Naeem 124 not out; Sumon 2-70)
RAJSHAHI V KHULNA
RAJSHAHI: 261 and 170 (Najmul 57; Al Amin 4-17, Razzak 4-62)
KHULNA: 309 (Nurul 97 not out) and 15 for one
CHITTAGONG V BARISHAL
CHITTAGONG: 356 and 50 for one (Pinak 30 not out; Ashraful 19-1)
BARISHAL: First innings 216 all out (Nuruzzman 60; Nayeem 4-62)
DHAKA METRO V SYLHET
DHAKA METROPOLIS: 246 and 225 for six (Mahmudullah 95 not out; Imran 2-35)
SYLHET: First innings 319 all out