Rajshahi clinch 6th NCL title
Finally Khulna’s dominance in the National Cricket League (NCL) has come to an end, as Rajshahi Division beat Barisal Division to become the champions of the league’s 2018-19 edition. This is overall their record sixth title triumph.
Rajshahi have been unbeaten throughout the tournament. Playing six matches, they managed to win in two while drew the rest of the matches to finish on top of the board with 34.81 points.
They had been sensing victory right at the end of Wednesday’s play. They started the fourth and last day of the match on Thursday needing just 102 runs to win. Thanks to a hundred from Junaid Siddique, they sailed to victory quite comfortably.
Rajshahi had to score 284 runs to win the match. On the last day, they came to bat with 182 runs for the loss of just two wickets. Junaid and Jahurul, at that point, had been unbeaten on 65 and 25, respectively.
Though Jahurul reached the half century in 98 balls, he couldn’t hold onto the crease till the end. The Rajshahi captain departed on 64, while Forhad Hossain could score only 4. But Junaid remained unbeaten till the last ball, scoring a brilliant 164-ball 120, with the help of 13 shots to the boundary.
This is the first time in last six years that Rajshahi have won the league. The last time they won was during the 2011-12 season. Khulna were the champions for last three consecutive seasons, but now they lost their streak to Rajshahi.
For his total 198 runs in two innings, Junaid was declared the man of the match.
Barisal 97 (Al-Amin 25, Mosaddek 22; Mohor 5/24, Shafikul 3/20) and 346 (Al-Amin 97, Shamsul 56; Forhad 4/59, Mohor 3/93).
Rajshahi 160 (Junaid 78, Forhad 32*; Monir 5/14, Gazi 2/29) and 284/4 (Junaid 120*, Jahurul 54; Tanvir 2/61).
Result: Rajshahi win by 6 wickets.