Chattogram earn tier-1 promotion; Barishal crumble to record 46
Chattogram Division registered a 10-wicket victory against Rajshahi in a tier-2 National Cricket League (NCL) match on Monday, earning a tier-1 promotion for the NCL's 26th season.
With five wins in six fixtures, Chattogram finished on top of the tier-2 table on 47 points, 13 ahead of Khulna Division who also wrapped up a convincing victory before the second session of the third day.
At Chattogram's Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, the day's outcome was inevitable as Rajshahi had a mountain to climb since they had slumped to 99 for six the day before.
Once Hasan Murad, who recently earned a maiden Test call-up for the New Zealand series, scalped the wicket of Sabbir Rahman (7), Rajshahi's hopes were all but dashed.
Player-of-the-match Murad picked one more to grab a five-wicket haul, totaling to a nine-wicket haul for the match, and Rajshahi were restricted to 124 despite Sunzamul Islam unbeaten 36.
It left Chattogram needing 24 for victory, which they reached in a hurry, in 2.2 overs.
Spinner Nayeem Hasan, also included in the Tigers' squad for the New Zealand Tests, who picked up five wickets in the match to take his tournament tally to 36, was adjudged the player of the tournament.
At Khulna's Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium, Barishal could only throw a 72-run target to Khulna after adding only four runs to their overnight score of 42 for six. Barishal's 46 all out is now the lowest total in the country's first-class history, having surpassed Dhaka Metro's 48 against Rangpur in 2014.
Player-of-the-match Sheikh Mahedi took all four wickets to end with commendable figures of 11.3-7-10-8, taking his match tally to 12 wickets.
Like Chattogram, Khulna also sealed their chase in a flash, taking 7.4 overs as Prantik Nawrose Nabil (33 not out) and Soumya Sarkar (28 not out) combined to hit seven fours and three sixes after Anamul Haque Bijoy (14) got out.
In the tier-1 matches, meanwhile, some action between Dhaka Metro and table toppers Dhaka Division finally took place at the Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium Academy Ground, albeit for 16 overs, after unfavourable weather in Cox's Bazar spoiled the first two days' play.
Naim Sheikh struck four boundaries and as many sixes for his unbeaten 45-ball 51 as Dhaka Division reached 77 for two.
Elsewhere, at Bogra's Shaheed Chandu Stadium, Sylhet Division ended third day on the driving seat as Rangpur lost skipper Akbar Ali late in the day to end up at 110 for four, in chase of a challenging 387.
Earlier, resuming play at 228 for four, Sylhet piled further misery on Rangpur as Shamsur Rahman went on to score a match-defining 128 off 180 balls, laced with 13 fours and two over-boundaries.