Rajshahi Division players celebrate with trophy after beating Barishal Division on Day 4 of Tier 1 National Cricket League (NCL) match at Shahid Kamruzzaman Stadium in Rajshahi on Thursday. Photo: BD Post

Rajshahi Division thumped Barishal Division by six wickets in the Day 4 of Tier 1 National Cricket League (NCL) match at Shahid Kamruzzaman Stadium in Rajshahi on Thursday.
With this win, Rajshahi are now the champions of 20th National Cricket League 2017-18 season. This is their sixth NCL title; they have also equaled Rangpur Division’s record of winning six NCL titles.
In day 4, Rajshahi’s left-handed batsman Junaid Siddique remained unbeaten on 120* as he was pivotal in chasing Rajshahi’s target of 284 in the second innings. Junaid’s superlative innings of 120 runs took 181 balls. His innings had 17 boundaries. For his excellent batting display, Junaid won the Man of the Match award.
At the start of day 4, Rajshahi’s score was 182 for the loss of 2 wickets; Rajshahi did not took long and picked the required 102 runs in the morning session. Junaid along with skipper Jahurul Islam had an alliance of 149-run for the third wicket stand. Jahurul struck half century, his elegant innings of 64 runs included 5 boundaries and 3 maximums. Earlier on day 1, Rajshahi dismantled Barishal as they were bowled out for 97 runs in the first innings. Barishal made a comeback as they bowled out Rajshahi for 160 runs in the first innings. Then opener Alamin of Barishal tried to put his team in a strong position after their first innings batting debacle. At the end of second day, Barisal scored 246 for 6.
However, on day 3, they were all out for 346 runs, giving Rajshahi an easy target of 284 runs to chase. All rounder Farhad Reza and bowler Mohor Sheikh were the heroes for Rajshahi with the ball. In both the innings Farhad took six wickets with the latter taking 8 wickets. Mohor’s five-fer in the first innings was key to Rajshahi’s success in the first innings with the ball. Rajshahi had been promoted to the Tier 1 in this season after playing the previous season in Tier 2. Their sixth title came after a period of more than six years. Rajshahi secured the top position making two wins out of six matches and four draws with 34.81 points while Rangpur in the second place with 21.09 points.
Meanwhile, In Tier 2 match between Sylhet Division and Dhaka Division was drawn. Dhaka Division scored 346 in reply to Sylhet’s 238 in the first innings. At Day 4, Sylhet Division’s second innings, they scored 303 for the loss of six wickets.
In other Tier 2 match, between Dhaka Metropolis and Chattogram Division was drawn as well. Chattogram Division scored 345 in reply to Dhaka’s 328 in the first innings. In the second innings, Dhaka Metropolis declared their innings at 261 for 6, giving Chattogram a target of 245 runs to chase. At the end of day 4, Chattogram Division scored 142 for the loss of 4 wickets.

Talha Kamal