Saif Hasan’s off-stump delivery left the crease and hit Rahatul Ferdous. Nadif Chowdhury took the ball floating in the air for a long time on the long on boundary. Saif cheered beside the pitch with both hands spread, the rest of the fielders also joined in a moment. Such is the celebration of Dhaka after securing the title.
The Dhaka division has become the champion with one match left in the National Cricket League at the Zahoor Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong. The Saif-led team defeated Sylhet by 52 runs in the fifth round match of the first level.
The capital team won the last title in the 2021-22 season. Rangpur division was the champion in the last season. This time, Dhaka has regained the title after being undefeated in five matches so far.
Mahidul Islam scored 266 runs in the first innings of the match. In reply, Sylhet’s innings stopped at 211 runs. Dhaka was bowled out for 154 runs in the second time. Later, Sylhet could not score more than 157 runs in the target of 210 runs.
Mahidul won the Man of the Match award in Dhaka’s win courtesy of his first century in his first-class career.
Dhaka collected 9 points in five matches with four wins and one draw. Sylhet won only one match. Besides, they lost the remaining three matches with one draw.
Dhaka benefited from a collective performance in their campaign to reclaim the title. They do not have any batsman in the top 10 in the list of highest run scorers. Rony Talukder who is number 12 with 320 runs in two fifties and one century.
Among the bowlers, Nazmul Islam is number three with 24 wickets in nine innings. Left-handed pacer Salahuddin Shakeel is at number 9 with 17 wickets in 9 innings.
Umpiring controversy has arisen in Dhaka’s title-winning match. Sylhet head coach Rajin Saleh wrote on social media on the third day of the match, “Umpiring in national league cricket is very poor. No one has any accountability. Many players are lost like this.”
He later uploaded videos of six questionable decisions by the umpires after the match and wrote, ‘For Dhaka to win…’
Dhaka needed 6 wickets on the last day of the match to become champions. Sylhet had to make 171 runs. Sylhet started the day’s game with 39 runs for 4 wickets and saw it become 6 wickets for 67 runs.
Zakir Ali and Zakir Hasan showed hope in the seventh wicket. 55 runs came in the pair of the two. After the lunch break Jake made his way to the dressing room. As a result, the entire responsibility fell on the shoulders of Zakir, who dropped to number seven instead of the top-order due to fever.
Zakir’s innings of 44 runs was halted by the umpire’s questionable lbw decision off Nazmul. That’s when Dhaka’s victory was confirmed. Rahatul fought for a while but could not do anything but reduce the margin of defeat.
Dhaka division 1st innings: 266
Sylhet Division 1st Innings: 211
Dhaka Division 2nd Innings: 154
Sylhet Division 2nd Innings: (Target 210) (previous day 39/4) 157 in 71.2 overs (Zaker 30, Tauhidul 15, Zakir 44, Rahatul 21, Raja 5, Khaled 0, Naeem 0*; Nazmul 22-3-56-3, Taibur 12 (1-23-1, Shubhagat 26-7-50-4, Shakeel 3-0-8-0, Saif 6.2-1-9-2, Ripon 2-1-8-0)
Results: Dhaka division won by 52 runs
Man of the Match: Mahidul Islam