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Mohammad Isam in Shere Bangla Stadium
September 22, 2013
Mohammedan Sporting Club tipped traditional rivals Abahani by three wickets in a last-ball finish. The win, Mohammedan's third in as many matches, took them to the top of the group stage.
Shamsur Rahman struck an unbeaten 105 and ensured that Mohammedan's run-rate never dropped off, despite the loss of wickets, as they chased a tricky target of 283 in 50 overs.
There was a little flutter for Shamsur, who stood at the non-striker's end, during the final over. Mohammedan needed five runs and Mukhtar Ali was beaten twice before crunching one towards point. However, substitute Mohammad Al-Amin dropped a half-chance, which also went to the boundary. With the scores tied, Mukhtar again missed two slogs before better sense prevailed and he tapped the ball towards cover to get the required single.
Before the drama, Mohammedan lost their way in the chase a couple of times but Shamsur's presence reassured the dressing room. After the loss of Jupiter Ghosh in the third over, Tillakaratne Dilshan wrestled the advantage back with a 41-ball 51. When Dilshan exited, Mohammad Nabi took over and his clean hitting, especially the three boundaries through the covers and straight down the field, pushed Abahani on to the backfoot.
Abahani, the 17-time champions, came back in the game with Nabi's wicket, after he had added 87 for the fifth wicket with Shamsur. Mohammedan captain Mashrafe Mortaza and Mukhtar also supported Shamsur well, as the batsman scored 105 off 115 balls with eight fours and two sixes.
Earlier, Abahani rode on half-centuries from Tharanga Paranavitana and Mosaddek Hossain, while Thilina Kandamby smacked four sixes and three fours in his 22-ball 49. Paranavitana and Mosaddek added 92 for the fourth wicket before the latter paired with Kandamby to go after Mohammedan's bowling in a fifth wicket stand worth 76 runs.
Mashrafe took four wickets but his tug at Kandamby, when the batsman was trying to take a second run, drew the ire of the Abahani supporters. This was the first List A match between the two sides that have been fierce rivals since the 1974-75 season when league cricket took off in Dhaka.
Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam's six wickets helped Prime Doleshwar down yet another big club in Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club by seven wickets.
Early morning rain delayed the start of the match at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium by more than an hour and the game was reduced to 46 overs a side. Seamer Hasantha Fernando took two early wickets before the Dhanmondi middle and lower-order surrendered to Taijul. His career-best figures in List A cricket - 6 for 19 - routed Dhanmondi for 93 in 29 overs.
Offspinner Sohag Gazi also picked up two crucial wickets - veteran batsman Tushar Imran and allrounder Elias Sunny - cheaply.
Mominul Haque then wrapped up the chase in 22.3 overs, remaining unbeaten on 37.
Kalabagan Cricket Academy picked up their first win in the league by beating Khelaghar Samaj Kallyan Samity by three wickets. Their third successive loss has made Khelaghar's prospects in the tournament difficult.
Batting first at the BKSP-3 ground, Khelaghar were bowled out for 162 in 48.3 overs. Hamilton Masakadza, Sikandar Raza and Nazmul Islam took two wickets each. Faisal Hossain, the captain, and Mosaddek Iftekhar scored 34 each for Khelaghar.
KCA's reply, too, began poorly as they lost three early wickets. Raza and KCA captain Marshall Ayub added 48 before the Zimbabwean was out for 27. Marshall top-scored with 63 off 104 balls with three boundaries and shepherded the short chase. Middle-order batsman Sharifullah added the finishing touches.
Faisal Hossain took five wickets with his left-arm spin, while seamers Masum Khan and Ariful Haque took one wicket each.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Mohammad Isam
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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