National Cricket League 2011-12, 2nd phase, 1st round December 14, 2011

Al-Amin shines in Khulna win

ESPNcricinfo staff

Khulna kicked off the second phase of the National League with an eight-wicket win over Rajshahi in a low-scoring encounter that lasted just two days at the Narayanganj Osmani Stadium in Fatullah.

They moved to the top of the table with 92.84 points after bowling out Rajshahi twice for 129 and 149 and leaving themselves a low total to chase in the second innings. The game belonged to the bowlers and in particular 21-year-old lanky medium-pacer Al-Amin Hossain who finished with match figures of 9 for 58. He found adequate swing and used his height to good effect on the first day when he broke Rajshahi's back with the key wickets of Junaid Siddique and Farhad Hossain.

In the second innings, he repeated the dose on Junaid and Farhad but also added Mizanur Rahman, Farhad Reza, Jubair Ahmed and Sanjamul Islam to his tally as the defending champions were pinned to the mat. Khulna themselves batted poorly in the first innings, taking only a 30-run lead but it was more than enough.

The game at the Sylhet Divisional Stadium started in the same vein as the one in Fatullah when Dhaka Metropolis were bowled out for just 129 in the first innings, though ultimately they drew with Sylhet.

Sylhet's seamer Abu Jayed was at his best once again, picking up six wickets for just 25 runs in the first innings. After Sylhet grafted for 107.3 overs to score 263 in their reply, the wicket flattened out.

Dhaka Metro took full advantage as they batted out nearly two days to earn a draw. Mehrab Hossain Jnr scored an unbeaten century, his first of the season, while Asif Ahmed, Shamsur Rahman and Marshall Ayub went close to the three-figure mark. Sylhet were set 347 to win from 50 overs but they used it as batting practice with Imtiaz Hossain and Shaker Ahmed hitting half-centuries.