POST TIME: 20 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Khulna regain NCL title

Khulna regain NCL title

Triumphant Khulna Division team poses with National Cricket League championship trophy after beating Dhaka Division in the last and sixth round match yesterday at Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna. Courtesy photo

Khulna Division regained NCL title when they crushed potential contender Dhaka Division by nine wickets on the final day of the National Cricket League (NCL) at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna yesterday.

This is seventh crown of Khulna, who championed three successive seasons since 2015-2016. Rajshahi Division matched Khulna’s six-winning record after clinching the league title last season. This year Khulna yet again slammed the record under their belt.

Star-studded Khulna will be the ultimate winners of the National Cricket League (NCL) for the 2019-2020 season what they got a sniff of victory on the day third of the six and final round. Experienced Roquibul Hasan made a gritty resistance against Khulna’s bowlers, who finally broke Roquibul’s shackles and regained the NCL crown for Khulna Division.

Rajshahi on the other hand witnessed a reverse experience. They demoted to the second tier after losing the final round to Rangpur Division.

Dhaka Division set a paltry 117-run target before being all-out for 216 in the first session of the final day. In its pursuits, Khulna rode on Anamul Haque Bijoy whirlwind batting slotted the team home in 25.4 overs.

Even though Khulna’s regular captain Abdur Razzak did not play the last round, he played a vital role behind their title regaining fight. Nurul Hasan Sohan led the team in absence of Razzak and played an unbeaten 150-run innings.

Resuming the fourth and final day on 102-5, Dhaka’s overnight batsmen Roquibul Hasan and Arafat Sunny Junior made an outstanding start and passed the first session of the day. Roquibul drifted towards century but Tushar Imran trapped him run-out that broke an invaluable 125 runs for the sixth-wicket partnership when Dhaka were on 213. Therefore, they lost three wickets to put just three runs on the board. Mahbubul Alam Anik and Nazmul Islam walked back to the pavilion for ducks following Arafat Sunny’s dismissal for 53.

Medium pacer Ziaur Rahman conceded 44 runs to grab five-wicket haul and Nahidul Islam claimed a brace for the winners.

Basically Dhaka got down batting with 10 players because pacer Shahadat Hossain Rajib slapped teammate Arafat Sunny Junior and banned from the match. For this, Rajib banned from all forms of cricket for five years with two suspended years.

Chasing the target, Khulna mislaid their opener Robiul Islam Robi cheaply. But they didn’t look back for it. Together with Amit Majumdar, Anamul Haque Bijoy anchored the ship at shore without any trouble.

Bijoy blasted an unbeaten 76-ball 79, while Amit Majumdar remained unbeaten on 33. Riding on Nurul Hasan Sohan’s 150, Khulna compiled 379 in first innings and finally named player of the match for his jaw-dropping knock.

By the instrumentality of winning the match, Khulna became the unbeaten champions. They chalked up 39.81 points from six matches, where they had an equal three number of win and loss.