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Rangpur Division clinch their second NCL title

Dhaka Metropolis earn a promotion to tier 1 for the next season, while Chattogram Division slide to tier 2

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Rangpur Division pose after winning the National Cricket League  •  Rangpur Division

Rangpur Division pose after winning the National Cricket League  •  Rangpur Division

Rangpur Division lifted their second NCL title after beating Sylhet Division by five wickets in the last round in Bogra. They wrapped up the win on the third morning of the game, after being set a target of 88 in the fourth innings of a low-scoring game. Rangpur last tasted NCL success in the 2014-15 season.
Chattogram Division were at the other end of the tier 1 points table despite their 27-run win over Dhaka Division. They will be relegated to tier 2 in the next season.
Dhaka Metropolis, meanwhile, earned a promotion to tier 1 after their seven-wicket win over Barishal Division.
Best batters
Zakir Hasan, Sylhet's captain and wicketkeeper, was the tournament's highest run-getter with 442 runs that included a maiden double-hundred. Veteran Jahurul Islam and Towfiq Khan were the second and third highest scorers respectively, while newcomer Abdullah Al Mamun was adjudged Player of the Tournament for his 326 runs and 11 wickets for Rangpur.
Rajshahi's Tanzid Hasan was the only batter to score more than one century in the competition. He finished the NCL with an unbeaten 126 against Rajshahi in the last round. Imrul Kayes was the other batter to score a hundred in this round.
Best bowlers
Sumon Khan of Dhaka was the highest wicket-taker this season, with 33 scalps at an average of 11.15. This is the lowest bowling average for any fast bowler who has taken a minimum of 30 wickets in a season in the tournament's history.
Sumon finished up with a seven-wicket match haul against Chattogram. His new-ball partner Salauddin Sakil also took 27 wickets, while Rajshahi's Nahid Rana, who took a five-for against Khulna in the final round, was the second-highest wicket-taker with 32 victims.
There were many left-arm spinners among the top wicket-takers but the fast bowlers vindicated the BCB's decision of introducing the Dukes ball in the NCL, by bowling aggressively for most of the competition.
Best match
The Rangpur-Sylhet game would have decided the NCL title although Rangpur had a healthy lead going into the last round.
Rangpur bowled out Sylhet for just 107 in the first innings with Shohel Rana taking three wickets. Musfik Hasan, Robiul Haque and Mamun took two wickets each.
Rangpur took a first-innings lead of 81 despite Ebadot Hossain's five-wicket haul. However, Sylhet once again struggled with the bat and were bowled out for 168 in their second innings. Rangpur needed only 89 to win the match, and the title. They knocked off those runs in just 23.3 overs despite losing five wickets.
Points to ponder
Rangpur made a slow start but finished the tournament with four wins. Sylhet and Dhaka had the title in sight till the fourth round but floundered in their last two games. In tier 2, the plight of Rajshahi Division and Khulna Division is concerning as both are giants in the first-class circuit. Both sides will continue in tier 2 in the next season as well.
Players to watch
Among the newcomers, the Rangpur duo of Musfik and Mamun was impressive, while Zakir and Sumon got the most runs and most wickets respectively. What would also please the Bangladesh team management was Mahmudul Hasan Joy scoring 73 against Dhaka, while Ebadot taking 5 for 38 against Rangpur. Both are expected to play an important role during Bangladesh's home series against India next month.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84