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News

Week of last-over thrillers as Hanuma Vihari revives Abahani Limited

All the highlights from the past week at the Dhaka Premier League, including a career-best 141* from Mohammad Ashraful

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
06-Apr-2022
Hanuma Vihari hits out on his way to an unbeaten century, Abahani Limited vs Brothers Union, Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League, April 2, 2022

Hanuma Vihari hits out on his way to an unbeaten century for Abahani Limited against Brothers Union  •  BCB

A round-up of the third week of matches at the Dhaka Premier League. Five of these matches went down to the last over, with one veteran scoring a hundred and another bagging a four-wicket haul.
Key takeaways
It is getting crowded at the top of the Dhaka Premier League points table with just over a week remaining for the first phase to end. Prime Bank Cricket Club and Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club are on top with 12 points, closely followed by defending champions Abahani Limited and Legends of Rupganj, both on ten points each.
The battle for the last two Super League spots are also heating up, with four teams - including the big-budgeted Mohammedan Sporting Club - vying for a place in the top six.
Best batters
Hanuma Vihari, Abahani's Indian recruit, struck a century and a fifty helping Abahani to three wins out of three this week. Brothers Union's Mohammad Ashraful reached his career-best List-A score against Rupganj Tigers, making an unbeaten 141.
Sikandar Raza and Fazle Mahmud also struck centuries, while Anamul Haque overtook Naeem Islam as the top run-getter, taking a 51-run lead.
Best bowlers
Left-arm spinner Rakibul Hasan climbed to the top of the wicket-takers' charts this week, having taken 17 wickets at 22.00, with an economy rate of 4.73.
Fast bowlers Rejaur Rahman Raja and Tanzim Hasan Sakib took five-fors during the week, while veteran Mashrafe Mortaza's 4 for 38 helped Legends of Rupganj to a two-wicket win over Khelaghar Samaj Kallyan Samity.
Best match
Rupganj, Prime Bank, City Club, Sheikh Jamal and Shinepukur Cricket Club all won matches that went to the last over. Dramatic finishes all of them, but the most noteworthy one was the most high-stakes of all.
In the battle of the two table-toppers, Sheikh Jamal's Parvez Rasool battled brilliantly with the tail to take their 266-run chase against Prime Bank to the last over. He struck Robiul Hoque for a four and a six, before calmly taking two off the penultimate ball to bring home a one-wicket win.
Points to ponder
Mohammedan's eighth position on the points table after seven games belies the fact that they are a high-spending team that includes former Pakistan international Mohammad Hafeez. But they have had few in-form players, and even had to drop Soumya Sarkar for the Dhaka derby against Abahani. Soumya has so far made just 100 runs in six innings, while Shuvagata Hom, another domestic stalwart, has made 78 runs in seven outings.
Players to watch
Akbar Ali's 45-ball unbeaten 89 against Mohammedan was a thing of beauty. Since leading Bangladesh to the Under-19 World Cup title two years ago, Akbar has a massive following, and all the expectations that go with it. That said, this was only his fourth fifty in 68 games across formats, but then he often doesn't get much time at the crease. In this game he did, and he struck six sixes and five fours in a reminder to the national selectors of his skills.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84