Abahani Limited took another step towards the Dhaka Premier League title, beating Legends of Rupganj by 60 runs at the BKSP-3 ground in Savar.
After being put in, Abahani's batsmen made solid contributions to lift them to 290 for 8 in 50 overs. Rupganj were bowled out for 230 in 44.4 overs, with Mosaddek Hossain, the offspinner, taking 5 for 43.
Both teams are now level on points - 20 each - but Abahani are on top on account of more wins.
Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das, the Abahani openers, added 76 runs for the first wicket before left-arm spinner Taijul Islam had Tamim caught at long-on in the 17th over. Then Liton, having made 51 off 69 balls, was caught at short midwicket as Rupganj fought back to reduce Abahani to 112 for 4 in the 28th over.
Shakib Al Hasan and Mosaddek Hossain regained the advantage with a 140-run fifth-wicket stand. Shakib, who made 66 off 57 balls, was severe on everything short. The best of his six fours and two sixes came via cuts and pulls. Mosaddek preferred the cover drive and chips over midwicket. He made 73 off only 55 balls, with eight fours and two straight sixes. Both batsmen fell in the space of nine balls between the 45th and 46th overs which prevented Abahani from making 300.
Taijul finished with 3 for 45. Asif Ahmed claimed 3 for 57 in nine overs and Alauddin Babu took 2 for 35. Jahurul Islam took four catches, the most by an outfielder in a DPL List-A match, joining Tushar Imran, Hasibul Hossain, Raqibul Hasan and Naeem Islam.
The Rupganj chase began horribly. They lost their top three in 8.3 overs. Jahurul and Junaid Siddique were bowled by Shakib and Mosaddek respectively when the batsmen tried to slog across the line. Soumya Sarkar's stumps sustained damage as well after he was beaten by Taskin Ahmed's pace.
A 59-run fourth wicket stand fanned hopes of a recovery but Nahidul Islam was stumped off Shakib for 36 and his partner Mohammad Mithun was caught at long-on for 55.
Asif Ahmed hammered 70 off 54 balls with five sixes and three fours, but with no one else contributing Abahani's total was never under threat. Asif was the last man out, but he seemed to suggest he wasn't ready for the Taskin full toss that bowled him in the 44th over.
Mosaddek was adjudged Player of the Match for the third time in the DPL having taken a five-for to go with his half-century.
In Fatullah, Prime Doleshwar Sporting Club beat Victoria Sporting Club by 91 runs. Despite that, both teams are out of contention for the title
Prime Doleshwar amassed 333 for 5 in their 50 overs thanks to a 96-ball 100 from opener Raqibul Hasan. Victoria were in and excellent position to chase the target down with the openers Abdul Mazid (50) and Jubair Ahmed (56) and their No. 3 Mominul Haque (61) making fifties each. But they collapsed from 201 for 3 to 242 all out. Left-arm spinner Sunzamul Islam took 3 for 44, while Al-Amin Hossain and Rahatul Ferdous took two each to secure the victory.
Prime Doleshwar were able to post a strong total despite losing an early wicket - Imtiaz Hossain was dismissed for 8 in the first over - thanks to Raqibul and the partnerships he led - 70 runs for the second wicket with Rony Talukdar, then 124 for the third wicket with Sachin Baby, who made 64 off 92 balls. Raqibul raised his first hundred of the season off 94 balls, but was dismissed soon after.
With 14 overs left and a foundation of 202 for 3 to work with, Nasir Hossain plundered an unbeaten 74 off 42 balls to push the score well beyond Victoria's reach.
Fast bowler Rubel Hossain, who had his national contract reinstated yesterday, was given the final over with six runs to defend. Mohammedan took singles off the first two balls, but lost three wickets in the next three due to run-outs. The last of those came about in unsavoury fashion.
Off the penultimate ball, an appeal was made for lbw that was turned down by the umpire, even as Ariful and Subhasis Roy tried to take two. Prime Bank appealed for a run out on both ends, but the batsmen were ruled not out, prompting the Prime Bank players to go off the field for 15 minutes as protest. They were persuaded to return by the match referee, and Subhashis was declared run out.
Ariful took strike for the final ball on 99. With two runs required, he struck a four through third man to seal the win.
Prime Bank's total of 244 had seemed more than enough when Ariful had come to the crease at 76 for 4. But he didn't give up. He added 61 runs for the fifth wicket with Mushfiqur Rahim (50), added 59 more for the seventh wicket with the Faisal Hossain and finally shepherded the team across the line amid intense pressure.
In a game of small margins, Prime back would rue the disappointing returns in the latter overs of their batting innings. Sabbir Rahman's 77 off 66 balls and opener Unmukt Chand's 40 off 62 balls had helped them to 196 for 5 in the 41st over, but it ended with Shuvagata Hom's wicket, and thereafter, Prime Bank lost their way and were bowled out before facing their full quota. Shahidul Islam, Faisal, Enamul Haque jnr and Naeem Islam took two wickets each; Habibur Rahman and Roy took a wicket apiece.