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Chittagong escape with draw after bad light ends play

File photo - Alok Kapali scored his 18th first-class century to help Sylhet pick up eight points BCB

‚ÄčTier 1

Rain affected proceedings for the second consecutive day in Cox's Bazar as both the Tier 1 matches in the third round of the 2016-17 National Cricket League ended in draws, with no cricket possible on the third and fourth days.

At the Sheikh Kamal Academy Ground, Dhaka Division opted to bat against Barisal Division, and amassed 523 in 132 overs on the back of Taibur Rahman's fourth first-class century.

Coming in at 213 for 4, Rahman made 147, with eight fours and four sixes. He was supported by Nadif Chowdhury (75), with whom he put on 158 for the sixth wicket, and wicketkeeper Zahiduzzaman (57), with whom he put on 113 for the eighth wicket, at a rate of 5.39. Earlier, opener Abdul Mazid missed a seventh first-class century by four runs after putting on 176 for the opening wicket with Rony Talukdar, who was bowled for 84. Left-arm spinner Monir Hossain, who removed both of them, finished with 5 for 152.

In reply, Barisal were 103 for 1, with Fazle Mahmud unbeaten on 55 and opening batsman Shahriar Nafees giving him company on 40, when rain truncated the rest of the game. Barisal picked up only five points as opposed to Dhaka's seven, but it was enough to put them on top of Tier 1.

In the other Tier 1 game, Nurul Hasan rescued Khulna Division with an unbeaten 103 to take them to 293 against Dhaka Metropolis. Khulna were reduced to 67 for 5 after electing to bat, and it took a 101-run stand between Hasan and Ziaur Rahman to bring them back into the game. Hasan also stitched together seventh and eighth wicket stands of 51 and 57 with Mehedi Hasan Miraz (26) and Abdur Razzak (45) respectively in his four-and-a-half-hour vigil.

Arafat Sunny took three wickets for Dhaka Metro, while right-arm medium-pacers Shahidul Islam and Shykat Ali took two each.

In reply, Shadman Islam and Mehedi Maruf, the Dhaka Metropolis openers, batted for 20 overs and took the team to 59 for no loss, before rain arrived. Dhaka Metropolis picked up six points, while Khulna got five.

Tier 2

Sylhet Division narrowly missed their first win of the season after bad light ended play early, with eight overs remaining in their match against Chittagong Division in Fatullah.

Chittagong's decision to bowl backfired as Sylhet piled on 444, courtesy Alok Kapali (137), who scored his 18th century, and Shahnur Rahman (102), who raised his maiden ton in only his third first-class game.

Shahanur followed up his century with a five-for to help Sylhet dismiss Chittagong for 315 and take a first-innings lead of 129. Yasir Ali top-scored with 95, while Tasamul Haque made 57. There was some late resistance from Mohammad Saifuddin (56), who came out at No. 8, and No. 9 Iftekhar Sajjad, who chipped in with 36. Shahanur ended with figures of 5 for 66, while left-arm spinner Emanul Haque jnr took 3 for 54.

Sylhet batted aggressively in the second innings, racing away to 243 for 5 in 42 overs. Zakir Hasan top-scored with 86, and Kapali came good again, slamming two fours and four sixes en route to an unbeaten 58 off 31 balls.

Set a target of 373, Chittagong were reduced to 26 for 4, with offspinner Rahatul Ferdous running through the top-order. Yasir Ali and Saeed Sarkar, who top-scored with 68, fought back through an 87-run stand for the fifth wicket, before a second collapse saw Chittagong lose five wickets for the addition of 33. However, with Sylhet one strike away from a win, bad light forced the players off the field.

Sylhet picked up nine points, and Chittagong ended with seven.

Over at the BKSP-3 Ground in Savar, Rajshahi Division drew with Rangpur Division after rain forced delays on all four days.

After being inserted, Rangpur put up 234, courtesy half-centuries from Tanveer Haider and Suhrawadi Shuvo, who made identical scores of 53, and Ariful Haque, who chipped in with 39. The trio's efforts helped revive Rangpur's innings after they found themselves in an early wobble at 39 for 4. Rajshahi's bowlers hunted in a pack, with Farhad Reza and Mukhtar Ali, who shared the new ball, taking three wickets each, while Taijul Islam took two and Mamun Hossain accounted for one wicket.

Rajshahi were reduced to 99 for 6 in their reply, before a seventh-wicket stand of 120 between Junaid Siddique (126), who struck his first century this season, and Sunzamul Islam took them past the 200-mark. Siddique carried on after the partnership was broken and was the last man dismissed, by which time he had helped Rajshahi eke out a 24-run first-innings lead. Right-arm medium pacer Saddam Hossain led Rangpur's charge with the ball with career-best figures of 4 for 46.

Rangpur scored 233 for 7 in their second innings, courtesy half-centuries from openers Saymon Ahmed (94) and Jahid Jabed (52). Sunzamul took 4 for 106, while Mamun took three wickets.