Rajshahi take upper handStaff Correspondent
An all-round performance from Farhad Hossain enabled Rajshahi to take control over their rivals Khulna on the first day of the National Cricket League final on Thursday.
Rajshahi bundled out Khulna for a mere 212 runs in their first innings of the five-day final before posting 135-2 at the end of the day at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
Rajshahi’s plan to open the bowling with off-spinner Farhad Hossain paid immediate dividends when he trapped Soumya Sarkar (0) lbw in just the fourth ball of the innings after Khulna had opted to bat first.
Skipper Farhad Reza followed his namesake to give his side the second breakthrough in the next over when he bowled Imrul Kayes (3) with only seven runs on the board.
Reza struck once again and this time he picked up the wicket of in-form Anamul Haque (17) to leave the Khulna side reeling at 34-3.
However, a 63-run stand between Khulna captain Tushar Imran and Mithun Ali helped revive their innings. Tushar was bowled by left-arm spinner Saqlain Sajib after he had reached his 50.
Mithun from one end kept the scorecard ticking while he was falling short of partners at the other end. Farhad was brought back for an over in which he sent back Taposh Ghosh (3) while number seven and eight, Ziaur Rahman (19) and Abdur Razzak (16), tried to provide some support to Mithun before the duo fell to Muktar Ali and Sanjamul Islam respectively.
Mithun scored 83 and became Saqlain’s second victim as Khulna were soon all out for 212. Mithun struck seven fours and a six.
After picking up three wickets for just 14 runs, Farhad showed his batting prowess when Rajshahi came out to bat and were in some trouble losing two early wickets.
Like their rivals, Khulna also struck in the first two overs with Dollar Mahmud and Alamin Hossain trapping both the openers Jahirul Islam (0) and Mizanur Rahman (4) in front respectively in successive overs.
Farhad and Junaed Siddique came on to crease with the scoreboard reading 5-2 and rescued their side from further danger as they made sure they don’t lose any more wicket on the day.
Farhad struck eight fours in his unbeaten 56 while national discard Junaed was not out on 71, taking Rajshahi to a comfortable position at the end of the day. Junaed clobbered 11 boundaries.
At the end of first day’s play, Rajshahi were trailing Khulna by 77 runs with eight wickets in hand.
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