An unbeaten 109-run stand in the fourth wicket produced by skipper Minhajul Abedin and man-of-the-match Sanwar Hossain helped Mohammedan cruise a 6-wicket victory against their archrival Abahani Club in the last match of the first round of GrameenPhone Premier league held in BNS ground today.
Targeting 255 to win Mohammedan set off slowly as they lost Shabbir Khan (11), Habibul Bashar (14) cheaply. Later, Ehsanul Haque (46) and Tikolo (46) went for a period of consolidation. Mohammedan were at one stage lost their fourth wicket with the score on 146 when Steve Tikolo (46) was perished at long off as he tried to lift Ahsanullah Hasan over the top. After that Sanwar Hossain and captain Minhajul Abedin handled the bowlers with an admixture of caution and calculated aggression. Sanwar was positive in making singles and twos from the very beginning where Minhajul (At the age of 38!) made a remarkable mark with the bat.
They nudged, pushed, drove and cut all around the wicket and brought the Abahani bowlers in an ordinary level. As a result, the jubilant Abahani squad's (After getting the precious one of Tikolo) spirit sank and had to accept the defeat in the 47th over. Man-of-the-match Sanwar Hossain chipped in with 70, a superb flawless innings, came off facing 94 deliveries in a crucial time. He hammered 5 boundaries to reach there.
Minhajul Abedin, after suffering some worst moments due to muscle cramp while taking a tight single, had to take Ehsanul Haque as his runner. The veteran batsman pulled off with an injured leg as he notched up a brilliant 53 not out (Arranged with 5 sparkling hit to the fence) off just 53 deliveries.
Minhajul was lucky to win the toss in the morning and elected to field first. Abahani top-order took advantage of the erratic bowling attack led by Taposh Kumar and clubbed the pace bowler several times to the fence. Mehrab Hossain recovered from his poor form and rolled up as a real devastating batsman as he punished the Mohammedan bowlers (Specially Taposh & Tikolo) severely. He scored 80 off 89 balls featured with 7 fours and 2 sixes (Successive sixes off Minhajul Abedin).
Moniruzzaman (53) and skipper Akram Khan (48) carried off two good knock and took Abahani off to 254 for 6 after 50 overs. Shabbir Khan was the most successful bowler among the Mohammedan tent to finish with 3 for 40.