Khaled Mahmud, the diminutive all rounder, deprived Abahani from getting almost a certain win in a match of swinging fortune held in BNS today. His club, Bangladesh Biman, won the match by 4 wickets by dint of Mahmud's scintillating performance with both ball and bat.

This was one of the most important matches in the early round of GrameenPhone Premier League and Faruk Ahmed of Biman had the luck to win the toss to go for fielding first. Abahani, though didn't make a flying start, were going steady until Nafees Iqbal fell to Aminul Islam Bhola for 10. The middle order batted sensibly to carry out some handy knocks. Moniruzzaman (23), Naimur Rahman (48), Mohammed Hussain (24) and Neeyamur Rashid (46) consolidated the Abahani innings and take the total off to a respectable margin.

Neeyamur Rashid, who is very adroit at number seven, slammed a quick fire 46 off just 39 deliveries that embraced 5 fours and a six. Abahani threw a good challenge while they piled up 231 all out in 49. 5 overs. Khaled Mahmud took 4 vital wickets for 35 runs while Shahed Mahmud, the Pakistani leggie, claimed 3 for 40. They were the bowlers Abahani found most difficult to put away.

Biman started off violently and plundered 57 runs from the first 10 overs. In this process they lost the wickets of Faruk Ahmed (12) and Aftab Ahmed (11), but Javed Omar Belim and Aminul Islam put up a brisk 53 runs in the third wicket stand. Belim scored 49 before Abahani's Pakistani recruit Mohammed Hussain induced an edge to stumper Mukhtar Siddique. Hasanuzzaman (18) fell rather cheaply when he was needed most, became the victim of Ahsanullah Hasan. Khaled Mahmud joined in when the board displayed a Biman total of 140 for 4 after 32 overs.

At 175, Aminul Islam (Just 2 runs short of his first fifty this year) perished dejectedly while he tried to play the hostile Hussain down the wicket, missed it and was stumped eventually. Shahed Mahmud lasted just two balls before Hussain caught him behind the stumps in the same over. Biman required 56 runs from 56 deliveries to win the match when wicket keeper Sajjad Kadir came on to the crease.

The rest of the story is reserved for Khaled Mahmud and his scrawny partner, as both remained inseparable till the finish. Hussain and Hasan, the left-handed spinners, clamped down on the batsmen, but Mahmud came out off the pressure and went for calculated risks, knowing that this might be the only way to get by. The batsman got good support from Sajjad Kadir (19 not out off 22 balls) and went for five spectacular shots on the rope and hammered a massive six off Naimur Rahman. Abahani's chances soon started to fall away.

Biman reached the target in style (took 12 runs in the 48th over) with Mahmud batting on 56 off just 54 deliveries. There wasn't a whit of doubt that he could be the sole contestant to be the man-of-the-match.