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Sunzamul Islam takes Rajshahi Division closer to the NCL title

Shuvagata Hom shone with a ton against Dhaka Metropolis, while defending champs Khulna Division remained in danger of relegation after a washout

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Sunzamul Islam gets a message from Khaled Mahmud after receiving his Test cap, Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Chittagong, 1st day, January 31, 2018

Sunzamul Islam gets a message from Khaled Mahmud after receiving his Test cap  •  Raton Gomes

After rain ruined the NCL's fifth-round matches in Barisal and Rangpur, ESPNcricinfo takes a look at the rest of the playing field in Bangladesh's biggest first-class competition.
Championship race heats up
Rajshahi Division are in prime position to lift the NCL title for the first time in more than six years, after they moved to 25.31 points, four ahead of Rangpur Division, against whom they drew the fifth-round match, in Tier-1. Defending champions Khulna Division, however, remain in danger of relegation after their match against Barisal Division was abandoned without a ball being bowled, with both sides earning two points each.
From Tier-2, Dhaka Division leapt from the third place to the pole position, with 25.31 points, after their innings-and-161-run win over Dhaka Metropolis, who have now moved down to the second position on the points table.
Best batsman
Shuvagata Hom's 106 laid the foundation for Dhaka Division's 327-run first-innings lead against Dhaka Metropolis. He struck seven fours and five sixes in his 146-ball knock. He added 157 runs for the fourth wicket with Taibur Rahman, who made 56.
Shuvataga's tenth first-class century was his first in nearly two years, having last made a hundred against South Zone in the BCL first-class competition in February 2017.
Rony Talukdar made 86 in the same innings, while Shadman Islam took his tournament tally past the 600-run mark with his 66 in Dhaka Metropolis' second innings.
Dhiman Ghosh and Farhad Hossain struck fifties in each innings in the Rajshahi-Rangpur game, while Rakin Ahmed, Naeem Islam and Sabbir Hossain also got one fifty each in the same contest.
Best bowler
Left-arm spinner Sunzamul Islam completed his fourth tenth-wicket haul in his first-class career during Rajshahi's drawn game against Rangpur. Sunzamul took 7 for 69 in the first innings and finished with match-figures of 11 for 141, his second-best after last year's 12-wicket haul against Central Zone.
Sunzamul took his tournament tally to 19, the third-highest in the 2018-19 NCL behind Nayeem Hasan and Arafat Sunny who have 23 wickets each.
In Bogra, Salauddin Sakil, the migrant worker from Middle-East who took to fast bowling only a few years ago, ripped into Dhaka Metropolis with a four-wicket haul on the first morning. He removed the in-form Shadman, Marshall Ayub, Shykat Ali and Zabid Hossain as the opposition slipped to 59 for 8 before declaring prudently to avoid more loss of points.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84