National Cricket League 2012-13 December 4, 2012

Dhaka Division close gap with table toppers

ESPNcricinfo staff

Dhaka Division 229 (Talukder 55, Murad 4-58) and 216 for 5 (Talukder 57, Nadif 53*, Robiul 4-73) beat Khulna Division 171 (Nazmus 53, Mosharraf 7-55) and 268 (Imrul 104, Mithun 53, Shahadat 3-44) by five wickets

Dhaka Division opened up the title race for the National Cricket League by beating leaders Khulna Division by five wickets in Rajshahi. The seven points from the game put them just four short of Khulna in the points table.

Put into bat first, Khulna were bowled out for 171 runs in 59 overs with Mosharraf Hossain taking seven wickets with his left-arm spin. Only Nazmus Sadat stood firm with the bat, scoring 53 off 138 balls. Dhaka took a 58-run lead as Khulna hit back with four wickets coming through their left-arm spinner Murad Khan and three from seamer Robiul Islam.

Imrul Kayes hit a century in the second innings but only Mithun Ali contributed with a half-century as the rest of the batsmen failed against Shahadat Hossain and Mosharraf, who took three wickets each. Dhaka were set a target of 211 runs on the final day, which they reached in 40.2 overs, despite Robiul's four-wicket haul.

Rajshahi Division 390 (Sabbir 136, Enamul 6-120) and 31 for 0 beat Sylhet Division 218 (Kapali 46, Farhad 4-26) and 202 (Golam 61, Taijul 5-74) by 10 wickets

Last four season's winners Rajshahi Division have given themselves an outside chance of retaining the title with a 10-wicket win over Sylhet Division in Savar. The win put them on 26 points and if Khulna and Dhaka both fail to pick up points in the last round of matches and Rajshahi win with the maximum of nine points, they could win the title.

Sylhet, after being put into bat, were stung by Farhad Reza's four-wicket haul on the first day and were bowled out for 218 runs. Rajshahi replied handsomely, taking a 172-run lead. Sabbir Rahman top-scored with 136 and there were some useful contributions down the order that helped Rajshahi stretch the lead, despite Enamul Haque jnr's six wickets.

In the second innings, Rajshahi left-arm spinner Taijul Islam took the first five-for of his career as Sylhet were bowled out for 202 runs. Rajshahi picked up the 31 runs required early on the fourth morning.

Chittagong Division 296 (Faisal 123*, Rabbi 5-65) and 72 for 2 (Faruque 2-22) beat Barisal Division 204 (Salman 98, Arafat 5-25) and 163 (Mahmud 50, Noor Hossain 5-29) by eight wickets

Chittagong Division picked up their second win in the competition after they beat bottom-placed Barisal Division by eight wickets in Sylhet. Batting first, Barisal made 204 runs with Salman Hossain scoring 98.

Chittagong replied with 296 runs, helped mainly by Faisal Hossain's unbeaten 123 and 72 by Nazimuddin, who returned to form this season. Pace bowler Kamrul Islam Rabbi took five wickets for Barisal, while left-arm spinner Monir Hossain picked up four.

Barisal replied poorly as they were bowled out for just 163 runs in 71 overs. Legspinner Noor Hossain took only his second five-for in his career, giving Chittagong a target of 72 runs, which they completed late on the fourth afternoon.