Positive mindset revives Morgan
Eoin Morgan's presence in the Dhaka Premier League wasn't much of a surprise given the number of international players in the domestic one-day tournament. His run of low scores was, however, inexplicable. In the end, it was Morgan's 86 that helped Gazi Tank Cricketers clinch their maiden title when they comfortably beat Prime Doleshwar by 60 runs on Friday.
Morgan was named the Man of the Match, receiving a rice-cooker as an award. He had totalled just 70 runs in his first four innings since arriving in mid-November, including getting run out for a duck in his previous innings against Mohammedan Sporting Club. He became slightly thoughtful when the query was about any worry on his part for not getting a big score.
"Batting is a very funny game where you have lot of downs and very few ups," Morgan said. "Today it was an up for which I am very grateful and to score runs and winning to become No 1 is all good news. You try as hard as you can for every game and today it just happened to be me who scored."
"In the first couple of games I was unlucky, but today it was the most important game and we came across the line and became champions. I think, after the openers, and [Mahmudullah] Riyad and I really batted well. I have not made a lot changes but it was just that I was much positive and from there my mindset was just good."
The 101-run fourth-wicket stand between Morgan and the Gazi Tank captain Mahmudullah changed the course of the game. It took them from a relatively ordinary position in the 31st over to one of strength. Morgan and ten Doeschate then smashed a few to take the score to 295, a solid score considering the occasion and Gazi Tank's bowling attack.
Mahmudullah later credited his bowlers, particularly paceman Rubel Hossain and young left-arm spinner Naeem Islam jnr who dismantled the impressive Doleshwar line-up.
"Rubel [Hossain] bowled well up front, followed by Naeem [Islam jnr]," Mahmudullah said. "It was the foundation of our win. We got regular wickets, and enforced the win. It was a total team effort throughout the league.
"I was away on international duty after the first six games. Imrul [Kayes] led the side in some big games and did a very good job. We won a few more games after I returned. We made progress at every match. We have a very experienced coach in Sarwar Imran who worked a lot with the younger players. We had a lot of performers like Imrul [Kayes] and Raqibul [Hasan , Tendo and today there was Morgan."
Despite their strength in name and numbers, it was Doleshwar who were considered a close contender. In their previous encounter, it was Doleshwar who kept their nerve in the rain-affected game.
"We knew that their team spirit was good," Mahmudullah said. "They played very well at this ground to beat us in the first round. We needed around 30 runs in five overs with seven wickets in hand. Today we needed to take early wickets even after making 295 runs because they have a strong top-order."
The next domestic tournament in Bangladesh could be either a Twenty20 tournament organised to give the national cricketers some practice as they build towards the 2014 World Twenty20s at home, or either of the two first-class tournaments - National Cricket League and Bangladesh Cricket League.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here