Dhaka Division strengthened their Tier-1 lead after beating defending champions Rangpur Division by ten wickets in Cox’s Bazar ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/national-cricket-league-2023-24-1402725/dhaka-division-vs-rangpur-division-tier-1-1402739/full-scorecard). They moved to 28 points, fifteen clear of second-placed Dhaka Metropolis, while Rangpur languish in bottom place with just eight points.
Salauddin Sakil ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/salauddin-sakil-932453) was Dhaka’s star performer with eight wickets. Rangpur were bowled out for 158 runs in 67 overs on the first day, with Sakil taking six wickets in the first innings. Dhaka took a 163-run lead when they replied with 321 runs. They however slipped to 87 for six before Nadif and Nazmul Islam added 123 runs for the seventh wicket. When Nadif fell on 93, Dhaka were 242 for eight, but Sumon Khan struck his third first-class fifty as their lead swelled to more than 150. Sumon and Anamul Haque added 57 runs for the ninth wicket.
Left-arm spinner Nazmul followed up his batting contribution with a six-wicket haul in Rangpur’s reply in the third innings. They were bowled out for 178 runs, with Anik Sarker making 69. Apart from Nazmul’s 6-56, Sakil and Taibur Rahman took two each. Dhaka then took 3.2 overs to complete the 16-run chase on the third day.
While the bowlers dominated in one ground in Cox’s Bazar, the other ground was a run-fest. Dhaka Metropolis drew their match ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/national-cricket-league-2023-24-1402725/sylhet-division-vs-dhaka-metropolis-tier-1-1402740/full-scorecard) with Sylhet Division with double-centuries from Shadman Islam ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/shadman-islam-629057) and Naeem Islam ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/naeem-islam-56054) coming in a marathon third-wicket partnership.
Shadman top scored with a career-best 250, his second double-century in first-class cricket. His previous double-hundred was in March this year, also at the Cox’s Bazar venue. He added 434 runs for the third wicket with Naeem, who made 221. This is the highest third-wicket stand in Bangladesh, the previous one being the 326 runs between Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels in Khulna in 2012. It is also the second highest stand in Bangladesh for any wicket.
This was also Naeem’s second double-century, the last one coming six years ago. He struck 23 fours and five sixes in his nine hours stay at the crease. Shadman batted for three minutes short of six hours, hitting 28 fours and a six in his 437-ball stay.
Sylhet responded to Dhaka Metro’s 601 for 5 declared with 494 runs in the following two days. Shamsur Rahman ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/shamsur-rahman-56154) reached his 22nd first-class century while Tawfique Khan, Zakir Hasan, Jaker Ali, Sahanur Rahman and Abu Jayed struck fifties. There was just enough time for Dhaka Metro to bat 23 overs, in which Mohammad Naim and Zahiduzzaman struck unbeaten fifties.
Tier 2: Promotion race heats up
The race for promotion to Tier-1 has truly warmed up after Chattogram Division crushed Barishal Division by 300 runs in Sylhet ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/national-cricket-league-2023-24-1402725/chattogram-division-vs-barishal-division-tier-2-1402741/full-scorecard). They bowled out Barishal for 54 runs in the fourth innings, their lowest total of all time. This was Chattogram’s third win this season, the first time since 2011-12 that they have won at least three matches in the season.
They set up the game with 298 runs batting first, with Parvez Hossain ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/parvez-hossain-989891) and Mominul Haque getting out in the eighties. Barishal were bowled out for 200 runs in reply, with offspinner Nayeem Hasan and Fahad Hossain taking three wickets each.
Mominul got out in the eighties for a second time as Chattogram declared on 256 for 9 in their second innings. Barishal however had no answer to Chattogram’s bowling in the fourth innings, getting bowled out for 54. Only Shamsul Islam got to double-figure, top scoring with ten runs. Nayeem took 5-21, while Fahad and Ifran Hossain took two each.
Khulna Division trounced Rajshahi Division by an innings and 109 runs in Sylhet. ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/national-cricket-league-2023-24-1402725/rajshahi-division-vs-khulna-division-tier-2-1402742/full-scorecard) They are equal to Chattogram with 25 points in Tier-2 points table, as both sides now go toe-to-toe for Tier-1 promotion next season.
Khulna banked on centuries from Imrul Kayes ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/imrul-kayes-280734) and Nurul Hasan ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/nurul-hasan-410765) to post 472 in 135.2 overs, in reply to Rajshahi’s 185 all out in the first innings. Imrul and Nurul however didn’t bat with each other in the innings. Imrul added 151 runs for the opening stand with Anamul Haque, who made 73. Soumya Sarkar then struck 86, adding 83 runs with Imrul who made 115 with twelve fours and two sixes.
Nurul carried Khulna’s batting from 249 for 4 to 472 all out, making 125 off 18 balls with twelve fours and two sixes. Sunzamul Islam and Taijul Islam took four wickets each. Rajshahi were then bowled out for 178 runs in the second innings, with Al-Amin Hossain taking a five-wicket haul. Nahidul Islam picked up three wickets too.