Rupganj rise to the top after Negi's maiden List A ton
Pawan Negi's maiden List A century lifted Legends of Rupganj to the top of the 2016 Dhaka Premier League table. Rupganj replaced Victoria Sporting Club whom they beat by two wickets at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
Victoria were bowled out for 258 after they were inserted, riding on half-centuries from Mominul Haque and Al-Amin. In reply, Rupganj had slipped to 83 for 6 in the 23rd over, before Negi (124 not out) and Mosharraf Hossain (41), the captain, helped them recover through a seventh-wicket stand of 148. Rupganj eventually made 264 for 8 in 48.5 overs.
Negi and Mosharraf had to rebuild through plenty of singles. Mosharraf was dropped twice, at long-off and then mid-off, prompting him to cut out risky strokes. Once the pair had added 50 for the seventh wicket, Negi was severe through the covers and mid-wicket, while picking ones and twos regularly within that range.
Negi raised his fifty off 42 balls before launching into the Victoria spinners. He entered the nineties with a six and a four off Suhrawadi Shuvo. Mahbub Alam dropped Negi on 97 off his own bowling, before Negi reached his hundred in the next over with a four through midwicket, off 77 balls. Kamrul Islam Rabbi then bowled Mosharraf with a yorker to give Victoria some hope.
Negi, however, remained at the crease to finish things off with his fourth six, which was launched into the midwicket stands in the 49th over. He had struck 13 fours and four sixes in his 89-ball knock.
Rupganj had started their chase with Mohammad Mithun hammering Rabbi for four boundaries in the first over, pulling through square-leg, gliding one past mid-on, driving through the covers, and cutting hard past point. But Chaturanga de Silva, the left-arm spinner, trapped him leg-before after he missed a lazy prod in the third over. Nahidul Islam suffered the same fate to the same bowler, before de Silva had Sajjadul Haque caught at short cover in the seventh over, making it 32 for 3.
Soumya Sarkar and Asif Ahmed slowly took them out of trouble, but after Asif was caught at deep midwicket off Shuvo, Soumya skied a slog sweep that was easily caught by wicketkeeper Dhiman Ghosh. Jahurul Islam became de Silva's fourth wicket when he was also given out leg-before. Negi and Mosharraf then changed the game completely with their partnership.
De Silva finished with his third five-wicket haul in the tournament, but Victoria would rue plenty of missed chances in their defence of the total, and also while setting it up with the bat.
They were 170 for 2 when Mominul Haque got out for a 72-ball 82 that contained eight fours and two sixes. Haque was involved in a 57-run third wicket stand with Al-Amin, who made 63 off 68 balls with two fours and two sixes, and 70 for the second wicket with Fazle Mahmud, who made 40.
But Victoria lost eight wickets for 88 runs to be all out for 258 in 50 overs. Taijul Islam took 3 for 47 in nine overs, while Abu Hider and Negi picked up two each.
At the BKSP-3 ground, Abahani Limited collected the biggest win in List-A cricket in Bangladesh after annihilating arch-rivals Mohammedan Sporting Club by 260 runs.
Abahani rode on centuries from Liton Das, the wicketkeeper, and Dinesh Karthik to amass 371 for 5 in 50 overs - the highest score by a team in a List-A contest in the country. Shakib Al Hasan then wrecked Mohammedan Sporting Club with 5 for 18 in 6.3 overs to bowl the opposition out for 111 in 24.3 overs.
Liton struck his second List A hundred, while Karthik, playing in his first match for Abahani, struck his eighth ton in the format. Liton and Karthik got together at 64 for 2 and added 162 runs for the third wicket.
Karthik then added 101 more for the fourth wicket with Shakib, who blasted 57 off 24 balls with two fours and five sixes. Liton's 125-ball knock contained 18 fours and a six, while Karthik's 97-ball innings had 11 fours and four sixes.
Left-arm spinner Emanuel Haque jnr bore most of the brunt as he gave away 84 runs in his quota of 10 overs and picked up a wicket. Thisara Perera conceded 75 runs off nine and also picked a wicket. Ariful Haque, the right-arm medium pacer, took 2 for 55 in five overs.
Shakib continued his good work with the ball as well and found support from Saqlain Sajib (2 for 27 in six) and Mosaddek Hossain (2 for 12 in three).
There wasn't much drama at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur where Prime Bank Cricket Club beat Prime Doleshwar Sporting Club by six wickets via the Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain-reduced game. Batting first, Doleshwar slipped to 100 for 6 in 33 overs before rain stopped play at 11.28 pm. Rubel Hossain had taken 2 for 19 in eight overs.
Play resumed at 3.00 pm with Prime Bank set a revised target of 118 off 33 overs. Unmukt Chand struck an unbeaten 43 off 61 balls to lead the chase, as Prime Bank reached 122 for 4 in 25 overs to win with eight overs to spare.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84