Among the four National Cricket League first round games, only Barishal managed to clinch a win while all the others ended in draws. Barishal beat Sylhet by an innings and 13 runs but the level of competition in the country’s premier first-class competition was outstanding.
There was a double hundred from Imrul Kayes, an all-round performance from Mahmudullah Riyad and two five-wicket hauls from seamers in separate games. That reflects the competitiveness, something selectors were desperately seeking.
An anticipated fourth and final day at the Shaheed Kamruzzaman Stadium in Rajshahi started with Barishal eyeing a win as Sylhet were left with the daunting task of negotiating the day after being bundled out for just 86 in their first innings.
Resuming the day on 27 for two after Barishal took a lead of 145, Sylhet again failed and were bowled out for 132. Jaker Ali’s 45 was the top score for Sylhet while Tanvir Islam bagged four and Monir Hossain took three wickets for Barishal to clinch an easy win.
Perhaps the highlight of the opening round was the first double hundred of the season from Imrul. The left-hander smashed his second first-class ton against Rangpur at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium yesterday.
Khulna resumed on 192 for three and took a first-innings lead after Rangpur posted 227. Overnight batsman Imrul, who resumed on 29, reached his hundred off 183 balls and remained unbeaten for a 319-ball 202 which featured 19 fours and six sixes.
Khulna declared on 454 for nine and Rangpur were on 33 for one before stumps were drawn. Imrul, who lost his place in the national team, will definitely get some confidence ahead of the selection for the Tigers’ upcoming tour of India.
At the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah, Dhaka division and Rajshahi created some excitement.
Dhaka were bowled out after adding 48 to their overnight score of 206 for six, with man-of-the-match Taibur Rahman once again top-scoring with 88. In face of 298-run target, Rajshahi stumbled into a spot of bother and were 106 for five before the game ended in a draw.
After a maiden fifer in the first innings, Dhaka’s right-arm seamer Sumon Khan was again the pick of the bowlers, bagging two wickets alongside Shuvagata Hom.
Mahmudllah shone with both bat and ball for Dhaka Metropolis in the star-studded encounter against Chattogram at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
Resuming the day on 349, Dhaka could add only five to their overnight score before being bundled out after a 151-run eighth-wicket stand between Zabid Hossain and Shahidul Islam was broken early on the final day.
Zabid was dismissed for 85 while Shahidul added 83.
Chattogram ended with on 227 for five, riding on fifties from Pinak Ghosh, Tasamul Haque and Masum Khan. After scoring thirty in the first innings, Tamim Iqbal once again got a start before he was dismissed for the second time in the game by Mahmudullah after scoring 46.
Mahmudullah, who scored a fifty in the first innings and bagged three wickets with his off spin, again remained instrumental with the ball and scalped three wickets in the second innings.
SCORES IN BRIEF
CHATTOGRAM V DHAKA METRO
CHATTOGRAM: 290 and 227 for 5 (Masum 61 not out, Pinak 57; Mahmudullah 3-25)
DHAKA METRO: First innings 349 for 7 (Shahidul 83, Zabid 85; Afridi 3-103)
Result: Match drawn
DHAKA V RAJSHAHI
DHAKA: 240 and 254 (Taibur 88, Raqibul 65; Taijul 5-105)
RAJSHAHI: 197 and 106 for 5 in 64 overs (Jahurul 40 not out; Sumon 2-21)
Result: Match drawn
RANGPUR V KHULNA
RANGPUR: 227 and 33 for 1 in 9 overs (Nasir 23 not out; Al Amin 1-10)
KHULNA: First innings 454 for 9 declared (Imrul 202 not out; Shuvo 3-74)
Result: Match drawn
SYLHET V BARISHAL
SYLHET: 86 and 132 (Jaker 45 not out; Tanvir 4-29)
BARISHAL: First innings 231 for 8 decl (Fazle 70, Shahriar 63; Rejaur 3-74)
Result: Barishal won by an innings and 13 runs