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Dhaka Division won their third consecutive match of the National Cricket League by an innings, this time crushing Chittagong Division by an innings and 174 runs. It put them top of the points table with 75 points, 19 ahead of second placed Rangpur Division, while Chittagong are scraping near the bottom with only seven points.
While it was Mosharraf Hossain's five-wicket haul (his 13th in first-class cricket) that handed Dhaka the early advantage, once again it was the grand start given by the openers Rony Talukdar and Abdul Mazid that put them in total control of the game. The pair put on their second consecutive 300-run stand for the first wicket, adding 304 runs in 77.1 overs. They also had a 197-run partnership in Dhaka's first match against Barisal Division.
Talukdar struck his second double-hundred in three games (and his third consecutive 150-plus score), making 201 off 240 balls with the help of 22 fours and seven sixes. Mazid was slightly more sedate with his 248-ball 113 that had 17 fours. It was his second hundred in as many games.
After the Rony-Mazid pair had plundered the Chittagong bowlers, Shuvagata Hom struck his sixth first-class century while Raqibul Hasan and Taibur Rahman hit fifties as Dhaka declared on 616 for 5 on the third day. Chittagong, who had made 155 in the first innings, folded for 287 in the second innings with Tasamul Haque making 114 off 180 balls. Irfan Sukkur also made 74. For Dhaka, pace bowler Dewan Sabbir took four wickets while Mosharraf added three more to his first innings five-for.
Rangpur Division moved into second position after their 193-run win over Khulna Division in Mirpur. Mahmudul Hasan's nine wickets was pivotal for Rangpur and the haul fetched him the Man-of-the-Match award.
Batting first, Rangpur were bowled out for 310 with Tariq Ahmed and Ariful Haque making 63 and 68 respectively. Khulna were bowled out for 213 in reply, falling 97 runs behind. Mahmudul took five wickets with his offspin while debutatnt offspinner Sanjit Saha took four wickets.
Rangpur batted slower in the second innings, making 259 for 8 in 105 overs before declaring on the fourth morning. Khulna lost their first three wickets by three overs for just two runs, and were ultimately bowled out for 163 in 51 overs with more than an hour to spare on the fourth day. Mahmudul took four wickets, while there was two each for Subashis Roy and Sanjit, who recently returned from Bangladesh Under-19's tour of Sri Lanka.
But the most significant moment came in the 137th over of Rajshahi's innings when Enamul Haque jnr became the first Bangladeshi bowler to take 400 first-class wickets, in his 100th first-class match. He finished with 4 for 137, the 46th time he has taken four or more wickets in an innings.
Sylhet were bowled out for 324 and asked to follow on by Rajshahi captain Farhad Reza. They batted through the fourth day to make 335 for 3, with Rahatul Ferdous notching his maiden first-class hundred.
The Barisal Division-Dhaka Metropolis match was also drawn in Fatullah.
Batting first, Dhaka Metro were bowled out for 400 with Shadman Islam hitting his maiden first-class hundred. His innings was quite two-paced as he made 140 off 301 balls, with 110 runs coming in boundaries (26 fours and a six). He made the rest of his 30 runs off 274 balls. Left-arm spinner Al-Amin took his first five-wicket haul.
In reply, Barisal raced to 161 for 0, but once the the opening partnership between Shahriar Nafees and debutant Saif Hasan was broken, they were bowled out for 261. Elias Sunny took a career-best 7 for 73, his 13th five-wicket haul.
Dhaka Metro furthered their lead by another 247 runs in 52.4 overs before declaring their second innings. Shadman struck 89 while Asif Ahmed and Mehrab Hossain jnr made 53 and 51 respectively. Nafees and Saif once again gave a good start adding 90 for the first wicket. Unlike the first innings though, the next two batsmen held it together. Fazle Mahmud struck his second first-class century and added 140 runs for the unbroken third-wicket stand with Mohammad Sajib.