Khulna Division players pose after winning National Cricket League match against Rangpur Division at Shere-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Tuesday. -Collected
A superb day's cricket from Khulna Division saw them pull off an exciting one-wicket victory over Rangpur Division to remain on top in the tire-1 table after ending round four of the ongoing 21st National Cricket League (NCL) on Tuesday.
Both sides were on the brink of victory in the exciting final day with Khulna needed 73 runs while Rangpur were five wickets away for their second win of the NCL at Shere-e-Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Dhaka.
But Khulna's run chase floundered with a tale-order meltdown as they slumped from 176-5 to 187-9 as the game swung to the Rangpur's grip. As it turned out, Khulna managed to stave off the threat.
Earlier, Mehedi Hasan and Ziaur Rahman counterattacked with half centuries, adding 109 runs to bring them back in the hunt. Sohrawordi Shuvo was the unfortunate name for Rangpur who claimed six wickets for 55 runs to give Khulna a scare before they recovered to post a thrilling win.
Shuvo and off spinner Mahmudul Hasan led Khulna's spectacular collapse after Mahedi Hasan (56) was the first man out of the day. Ziaur Rahman continued charging but he played one shot too many and was castled by Sohrawordi Shuvo for 53.
Mahmudul Hasan then kept up the pressure by having Abdur Razzak and Rubel Hossain in successive deliveries. But Moinul Islam and Abdul Halim denied Rangpur's win to managing the winning runs. With the win Khulna retained their top spot in tire-1 table with bonus points as they secured 26.46 points including two wins.
In the day's other Tire-1 fixture, Spin duo of Nazmul Islam and Saif Hasan shared six wickets between them to help Dhaka Division hammered Rajshahi Division by an innings and four-run margin in the final day at Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium Academy Ground, Cox's Bazar.
After being followed on, Rajshahi needed a strong batting in the final day for a safety draw but they kept losing wickets and were dismissed for 241 runs in their second innings.
Left arm spinner Nazmul finished with 3-58, Saif took 3-15 and pacer Salauddin Sakil grabbed 2-45 to bundle Rajshahi out soon after lunch for a comprehensive victory. The victory lifts Dhaka to the second position of the tire-1 table as they grabbed their maiden win of the ongoing NCL.
Rajshahi were always on the back foot on a turning pitch as only Sabbir Rahman (58) and Najmul Hossain Shanto (51) showed some resistance during their46 run stand for the sixth wicket.
It was Taibur Rahman who gave Dhaka the prized wicket of Nazmul, smartly deceived the left-hander. Part-timer Saif Hassan then had Sabbir to spark celebrations in the field as Sabbir's dismissal effectively closed Rajshahi slim chance to turn the match in a draw. Dhaka Division player Shuvagata Hom was adjudged the player of the match for his brilliant all-round contribution.
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