Spinners, Liton take Abahani to first spot
Left-arm spinners Manan Sharma (4 for 21) and Saqlain Sajib (3 for 24) combined to dismantle Mohammedan Sporting Club for 100 and set up Abahani Limited's five-wicket win at the BKSP-3 Ground in Savar. The performance vaulted Abahani to the top of the Dhaka Premier League points table; they are ahead of Gazi Group Cricketers and Prime Doleshwar Sporting Club, also on 20 points each, by virtue of a superior net run rate.
Coming into the game on the back of successive 300-plus scores, Mohammedan crumbled in 33.4 overs with only one of their batsmen notching up a score in excess of 20. If Sajib scythed through the top-order, Manan wiped out the lower order in equally quick time.
Liton Das then razed Mohammedan with a 22-ball half-century that came with the help of four fours and five sixes, as Abahani raced away in an opening stand of 61 that took just 5.1 overs. With 10 runs needed, Abahani slipped up against the duo of Jubair Hossain and Shamsur Rahman, losing three wickets for the addition of one run. But opener Shadman Islam held firm with an unbeaten 24, and in the company of Shuvagata Hom, took Abahani across the line in 15.3 overs. Shamsur and Jubair ended with two wickets each.
Gazi Group Cricketers put behind three successive defeats to crush Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club by 177 runs at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium.
Batting first, Gazi Group ran up 350 for 5, built around Nasir Hossain's belligerent century. Left-arm pacer Abu Hider then kept the good work going with his career-best List A returns of 6 for 35 as Dhanmondi Club sank to 173 all out in 38.1 overs.
Gazi Group suffered an early setback when Anamul Haque was dismissed in the second over for 1. Mominul Haque then blasted a 61-ball 66 and added 74 for the second wicket in the company of Munim Shahriar (35 off 33). The association ended with the latter's dismissal in the 14th over, which brought out Nasir, who was returning from Ireland where he was involved with the Bangladesh national team in a triangular series.
Nasir zoomed to 134 off 113 balls, his fifth List A century, with the help of seven fours and six sixes. He shared a fifth-wicket stand of 147 with Gurkeerat Singh Mann (74 off 60), off just 129 balls, to flatten Dhanmondi Club. Gurkeerat was sent back at the start of the 45th over, but Gazi biffed 66 runs off 35 balls after his dismissal. Nasir continued with his big-hitting ways until he had to retire hurt in the penultimate over with a bout of cramps.
In their reply, Dhanmondi Club lost wickets upfront and were reeling at 96 for 6 before the halfway stage. Ziaur Rahman tried to mount a fightback with 46 off 29 balls, but it was snuffed out by Hider who then went on to pick two more wickets in the same over; Dhanmondi were bowled out shortly thereafter.
At the BKSP-4 Ground in Savar, Marshall Ayub and Shahriar Nafees strung together a match-winning partnership for the second time in two chases as Prime Doleshwar Sporting Club chased down 242 against Prime Bank Cricket Club with six wickets in hand. That, after Prime Bank put up 241 for 8 on the back of half-centuries from Abhimanyu Easwaran (71) and their captain Asif Ahmed (62 not out).
Ayub and Nafees got together with Prime Doleshwar at 58 for 2 in the 12th over of the chase. They took the score to an even 200, adding 142 for the third wicket - their second 100-plus stand in the competition. Marshall was the first of the two to fall, having top-scored with 84 off 89 balls, including ten fours and a six. Nafees was a lot more sedate, his 78 taking 129 balls. He fell with Prime Doleshwar requiring another 24, where after Rajat Bhatia and Farhad Reza sealed the chase.
Bhatia also played a key role with the ball, limiting Prime Back with his 3 for 50 in 10 overs. Prime Bank, 120 for 5 at one point, were lifted by a 73-run sixth-wicket stand between Abhimanyu and Asif. Left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny supported Bhatia well, taking 2 for 40 in 10 overs.