Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Rangpur’s first win

It was Rangpur’s maiden win in the National Cricket League when they overturned Khulna by five wickets at the Jessore Stadium yesterday.
The three-day finish also meant that the league leaders lost for the first time in five rounds. Elsewhere, Rajshahi are poised for their third win, Dhaka have a tricky final day chase and in the Dhaka Metropolis-Chittagong run-fest, Mohammad Ashraful struck a hundred for the first time since October last year.
Tariq Ahmed played the archetypal captain’s knock as his 65 helped Rangpur to their first-ever win in first-class cricket.
When young all-rounders Mahmudul Hasan and Ariful Haque shepherded the chase to the visitors’ winning target, it was sheer delight for Tariq. “It is huge for Rangpur, and I’m very happy to have made runs when it really mattered,” he said.
“There was obviously no chance of a draw but the wicket itself was result-oriented as there was awkward bounce on the third day,” he added.
After a 51-run opening stand between Robiul Islam and Ahsanul Lipu, Tariq and Robiul both struck half-centuries as they added 69 for the second wicket. Later on, Mahmudul Hasan thwarted Khulna’s left-arm spinner Murad Khan for an hour to reach 223-5 in the afternoon session.
“We needed a good start and we got a 51-run stand. Afterwards, I thought one more 100-plus partnership would do the job. We didn’t get it but we got the job done in the end. I thought [Mahmudul Hasan] Limon and Tanvir [Haider] batted very well to get us to the winning target,” he added.
Murad ended with match figures of 11 for 129 but it was not enough for the table-toppers who had a poor game with the bat.
Resuming on a precarious 168-6, the Sylhet lower-order batted very well to keep the Rajshahi’s on the field for two sessions (47.4 overs) at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra.
Tapash Baisya belted four boundaries and two sixes in his 116-ball 59 that held the tail together for the entire time. He was the last man out, setting Rajshahi a competitive 223-run target.
The defending champions made a poor start, losing four wickets by the 18th over but skipper Anisur Rahman and Hamidul Islam added 93 for the fifth wicket in quick time. But the veteran Anisur fell after a rapid 51, leaving the young wicketkeeper to finish the job on the final day Jubair Ahmed (12 not out) and the tail.
The theme of a third-day repair job continued at the Barisal Stadium where the hosts rose from the overnight 70-3 to 278 all out.
The unlikely hero with the bat was Syed Rasel who hammered four sixes and nine boundaries in his 91. During his 2½ stay, the tail-ender added 75 for the fifth wicket with Reazul Karim and 82 with Monir Hossain (40) for the eighth wicket.
It gave Dhaka a 263-run chase in bit more than a day. It was a disastrous start when Anwar Hossain fell in the 13th over while Rony Talukdar, who had scored 21 out of the 36 scored till that point, was bowled by Refatuzzaman Ovi.
Dhaka need a further 208 runs with eight wickets in hand.
It continued to be slow-going at the Sylhet Stadium as the Dhaka Metro-Chittagong game heads for a draw.
After Chittagong declared their first innings 89 runs short of Dhaka’s 393, Mohammad Ashraful brought out all his shots for the first time this year.
The discarded Tigers batsman opened the Dhaka Metro innings and got into the act, hammering a dozen boundaries and two sixes in his 116 off 213 balls.
He remained unbeaten with Mohammad Sharifullah who was on 46.
KHULNA: First innings 139; second innings 214. RANGPUR: First innings 131; second innings 223-5 in 59.3 overs (Tariq 65, Robiul 61; Murad 4-100).
Result: Rangpur won by five wickets.
SYLHET: First innings 100-9 dec; second innings 298 all out in 123 overs (Shaker 62, Baisya 59; Mukhtar 4-114).
RAJSHAHI: First innings 175; second innings 168-5 in 45 overs (Anisur 51, Hamidul 40 not out; Shaker 2-26).
BARISAL: First innings 183; second innings 278 all out in 84.2 overs (Rasel 91, Jupiter 56; Robin 3-64, Sharif 3-61).
DHAKA: First innings 199; second innings 55-2 in 29 overs (Rony 21; Ovi 1-4).
DHAKA METRO: First innings 393; second innings 275-4 in 68 overs (Ashraful 116 not out, Sharifullah 46 not out; Ashraful 2-67). CHITTAGONG: First innings 304-9 in 81.1 overs (Nafees 70, Nazimuddin 52, Yasin 51; Arafat 5-76).

-With The Daily Star input

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