Khulna division brought home their record seventh National Cricket League title after beating Dhaka division by nine-wicket on the final day of their sixth round match at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna on Tuesday.
Ziaur Rahman took 5-44 as Dhaka were all out for 216 in their second innings and Khulna reached 117-1 in 25.4 overs to reclaim the NCL title.
Khulna are now the most successful team in the four-day competition, edging past last year’s champions Rajshahi division, who have six titles to their name.
In Rajshahi, the home division lost their place in the top-tier after losing against Rangpur division by 155 runs to finish last in the four-team tier-one.
The dead-rubber tier-two match between Dhaka Metro and Barishal division ended in a dull draw in Barishal.
Sylhet division, earlier, secured their place in the top-flight by beating Chattogram division by nine-wicket inside the second day in Bogura.
Khulna v Dhaka
Dhaka’s overnight pair Roqibul Hasan and Arafat Sunny jnr, who were unbeaten on 39 and nine respectively, played out the entire morning session to give Dhaka a hope of avoiding defeat after they resumed play on 102-5, leading Khulna by two-run.
Khulna finally ended the resistance when Tushar Imran ran out Roqibul on 99 and Zia removed Arafat for 53 to reduce Dhaka to 216-6.
Dhaka failed to add any runs for their remaining wickets, losing their next-two in consecutive overs to be bundled out, after their pacer Shahadat Hossain was banned from the match after a physical altercation with team-mate Arafat on day two.
Chasing 117, Anamul then hit an unbeaten 79 off 76-ball and was supported by Amit Majumdar’s 33 not out to end their championship winning campaign with a victory.
This was a must win match for Dhaka, as they had to beat Khulna to overthrow them in the title race, but in the end they had to settle with a runners-up finish in tier-one
Rajshahi v Rangpur
Rangpur declared their second innings on their overnight 228-6, to give Rajshahi a 249-run target to win the match.
Rangpur’s gamble paid off, as they bundled out Rajshahi for 93 in 43.1 overs to go up one spot and finish third in tier-one while Rajshahi were demoted to tier two.
Ariful Haque and Alauddin Babu claimed 3-20 and 3-42 respectively to lead the demolition for Rangpur while Junaed Siddique and Sujon Howlader made 34 and 27 respectively to put up some resistance for Rajshahi which proved to be futile in the end.
Metro v Barishal
Resuming their second innings on 30-3, while trailing Metro by 22-run, Barishal rode on fifties from Moin Khan (80), Fazle Mahmud (75) and Salman Hossain (53) to reach 269 before getting bundled out.
Arafat Sunny was the pick of the bowlers for Metro with 5-85 while Taskin Ahmed and Asif Hossain took three and two-wicket respectively.
Chasing an improbable target of 218, Metro batted only five overs and reached 19-1 before both sides accepted the draw.
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