May 16, 2000

Abahani wins Bangladesh Premier League

Abahani won their third Premier League title despite suffering their third consecutive defeat in the competition. This was the last match of the league and coincidentally it was between the two top placed teams. From their first thirteen victories in the league, Abahani had amassed quite a lead in terms of net run rate and were also two points ahead of Kalabagan.

Batting first, Kalabagan managed 240/9 in their 50 overs. Harunur Rashid's 66, Salim Elahi's 35 and Tareq Mehmood's 31 were the main contributions their innings while for Abahani Naimur Rahman and Anisur Rahman took 3 three wickets apiece.

Abahani came very close to victory, falling short by just five runs. Azam Iqbal's 42 gave them a solid start, while the middle order was more than supportive with Akram Khan's 35 and Anisur Rahman's 31. Zakir Hossain batting at number seven made 50 runs off 61 deliveries and took Abahani to the brink of victory before he was run out on the second ball of the final over. The tailenders Hasibul Hossain and Rokon managed seven out of the eleven runs required in the final four deliveries.

Although Kalabagan were victorious in this battle, Abahani had won the war. They finished level on points, but Abahani's run rate was far superior to Kalabagan's. Abahani were on top in the league table throughout the Premier League, winning their first thirteen victories in a row, but three defeats followed in the Super League. By then Abahani had put themselves in a pretty secure position to take away this year's Premier League.

Bangladesh Super League Table

P W L Pts N R/R Abahani 16 13 3 26 +1.19 Kalabagan 16 13 3 26 +0.57 Biman 16 12 4 22 +0.67 Surjo Torun 16 10 6 20 +0.16 Brothers Union 16 8 8 16 +0.15 Mohammedans 16 8 8 16 +0.11