February 24, 2000

Biman get Bangladesh Premier League off to flying start

The Bangladesh Premier League kicked off yesterday at the Bangabandhu National Stadium, as reigning champs, Bangladesh Biman beat newcomers City Club by 62 runs.

After electing to bat first, the Biman openers Javed Omar and skipper Faruk Ahmed put on 132 runs for the first wicket, before both fell as victims of Saifullah Magsi. Faruk smashed 80 off 90 deliveries with 10 fours and a six, while Javed Omar played more of an anchore role with his 74 off 105 balls, which included 9 boundaries and an over boundary. After Faruk's departrue, one down, Habibul Bashar, contributed 47 runs, before he too went to Magsi. National skipper Aminul Islam made just 2, while Manzoor Akhtar was Magsi's fourth victim. Biman finished with 255/5, from their 50 overs, while Magsi finished with 4/43 from his ten.

After Sajid Hassan (12) and Sohail Hossain (32) put on a opening partnership of 42, City Club lost fours quick wickets for just 21 runs, three of them claimed by Biman's Pakistani leg spinner, Manzoor Akhtar. After this collapse, captain Wahidul Islam and Tofazzal Hossain shared a 100 run partnership and lifted the score to 163/4 after 43.3 overs, when Wahidul was bowled by Manzoor. Tofazzal remained unbeaten on 44, however City Club failed to even get close to their target, although they still had four wickets remaining. They ended their fifty, with just 192 runs, giving away Biman the victory, without even putting up a fight.

City Club's disappointing batting performance, was also due to some tight bowling from Aminul Islam Bhola (1/23 off 10) and Manzoor Akhtar (4/35 off 10) who made up for his dismal batting performance.

The second match of the league, between Abahani Krira Chakra and Gobibag Friends, is to be held today at the same venue.