|| CF DESK ||
Chattogram Division secured a comprehensive 10-wicket victory over Rajshahi in a tier-2 National Cricket League (NCL) match on Monday, thereby earning a promotion to tier-1 for the NCL's 26th season.
Finishing with an impressive record of five wins in six fixtures, Chattogram topped the tier-2 table with 47 points, securing a comfortable 13-point lead over Khulna Division, who also clinched a convincing victory before the second session of the third day.
The decisive match took place at Chattogram's Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, where Rajshahi faced an uphill battle after slumping to 99 for six the previous day.
The outcome became inevitable once Hasan Murad, who recently selected for his maiden Test call-up for the New Zealand series, dismissed Sabbir Rahman (7), further diminishing Rajshahi's chances.
The player of the match, Hasan Murad, continued his stellar performance, picking up one more wicket to complete a five-wicket haul and a remarkable nine-wicket haul for the match.
Despite Sunzamul Islam's unbeaten 36, Rajshahi was restricted to a total of 124.
Chattogram's pursuit of 24 runs for victory was swift, achieved in just 2.2 overs. Spinner Nayeem Hasan, also included in the Tigers' squad for the New Zealand Tests, was recognized as the player of the tournament.
Hasan's noteworthy performance included picking up five wickets in the match, bringing his tournament tally to an impressive 36 wickets.
Chattogram's promotion to tier-1 reflects their dominance in the tier-2 competition, and the contributions of key players like Hasan Murad and Nayeem Hasan bode well for their prospects in the upcoming higher tier of the National Cricket League.
On the other hand, Barishal managed to set a meager target of 72 runs for Khulna, adding only four runs to their overnight score of 42 for six at Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna.
With a final total of 46 all out, Barishal's innings now stands as the lowest total in the history of the country's first-class cricket, surpassing Dhaka Metro's 48 against Rangpur in 2014.
Player-of-the-match Sheikh Mahedi took all four wickets to end with commendable figures of 11.3-7-10-8, taking his match tally to 12 wickets.