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Dhanmondi qualify for Super League after record chase

Sohag Gazi's second-wicket stand with Prashant Chopra set the foundation for Dhanmondi's stiff chase BCB

Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club beat Mohammedan Sporting Club by one wicket with two balls to spare at the BKSP-3 ground in Savar. Dhanmondi Club chased down their 340-run target, a List A record for the highest-successful chase in Bangladesh, when No. 11 Shahadat Hossain struck the winning four after they needed three runs from the final over.

The record for the previous highest chase was held by Chittagong Division, who made 333 for 6 against Rajshahi Division in 2007. Dhanmondi's chase was also the highest second-innings score in List A games in Bangladesh, bettering Mohammedan's 339 for 9 against Abahani earlier this season.

Both Dhanmondi Club and Mohammedan made it to the Super League phase of the Dhaka Premier League, alongside Gazi Group Cricketers, Abahani Limited, Prime Doleshwar Sporting Club and Prime Bank Cricket Club. But it was Dhanmondi Club's chase that stole the show on the final day of the first round.

Their fast start was upended when they lost their first two wickets by the seventh over. Then, Prashant Chopra, their Indian recruit, and Sohag Gazi added 96 runs for the third wicket. Chopra's dismissal for a 60-ball 86 was followed by that of Rajin Saleh for a duck six balls later, in the 20th over. When Gazi fell for a 64-ball 89, Dhanmondi Club slipped to 233 for 6 in the 33rd over.

The chase was revived through an 87-run stand between Tanbir Hayder and Elias Sunny. Hayder struck six fours and a six in his 72-ball 77 while Sunny's cameo ensured the lower order didn't capitulate quickly. Sunny ended unbeaten on 39 off 45 balls. Mohammedan pace bowler Mohammad Azim took four wickets for 70 runs.

Dhanmondi Club's brilliant chase overshadowed centuries from Shamsur Rahman and Rony Talukdar as Mohammedan were asked to bat. Shamsur struck seven fours and as many sixes in his unbeaten 144 off 152 balls, which was his highest List A score. Talukdar's 110 came off 99 balls and was his third List A century.

Gazi Group Cricketers finished as table toppers at the end of the Dhaka Premier League's first phase despite slipping to their second successive loss. Prime Bank Cricket Club trounced them by seven wickets in Fatullah and finished on 16 points to draw level with Abahani Limited and Prime Doleshwar Sporting Club while Gazi Group were on 18 points.

Batting first, Gazi Group made only 214 for 9, with Mominul Haque (79 off 106) and Jahurul Islam (66 of 84) consolidating the innings after they were 3 for 2. But Gazi Group slumped again, losing their last five wickets for 16 runs after the 149-run stand between Mominul and Jahurul was broken, with Nazmul Islam finishing with three wickets. Zakir Hasan and Abhimanyu Easwaran set up Prime Bank's chase by adding 95 runs for the second wicket. The formalities were completed by Al-Amin who was unbeaten on 41.

Kalabagan Krira Chakra kept themselves firmly afloat in the Dhaka Premier League after their five-wicket win against Khelaghar Samaj Kallyan Samity at the BKSP-4 ground in Savar.

Having finished tenth in the points table, Khelaghar now have to take part in the relegation playoff matches with Partex Sporting Club and Victoria Sporting Club. Only one of these three teams will remain in the DPL next season while the bottom two will be relegated to the Dhaka First Division League.

Khelaghar were restricted to 204 for 7 as No. 5 Rafsan Al Mahmud top-scored with 71 off 98 balls while No. 7 Arifurzaman Sagor made 46. Saad Nasim, the Pakistan allrounder, finished with 3 for 34 in his 10 overs.

After adding 50 runs for the opening stand with Tasamul Haque, Jashimuddin (89) added 104 runs for the second wicket with Mohammad Ashraful (56). Even though Kalabagan lost five wickets, the chase was completed by Muktar Ali and Mehrab Hossain jnr with 13 balls to spare.