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DPL week five: Late surge takes Mohammedan Sporting, Gazi Group to Super League

Habibur Rahman Sohan's 66-ball 101 and the 4 for 29 from Rishad Hossain, playing his first DPL match of the season, were the standout individual performances

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Rishad Hossain took a four-wicket haul in his first game in this season's DPL, Dhaka, April 16, 2023

Rishad Hossain took a four-wicket haul in his first game in this season's DPL  •  BCB

Here's a lookback at the fifth week of matches at the 2022-23 Dhaka Premier Division League.
Key takeaways
Four out of the six clubs that have qualified for the Super League were always strongly placed: the top four - Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club, Abahani Limited, Legends of Rupganj and Prime Bank Cricket Club - were around the top four for most of the league's first phase.
Only the star-studded Mohammedan Sporting Club had to make a late move, winning their last six games on the trot to make it to the Super League. Gazi Group Cricketers also made it to the final stage by finishing in sixth place. They won three out of their last four games.
Best batters
Mohammad Naim became the fastest to 700 runs in a DPL season, completing the feat in ten games. But Naim and Anamul Haque, the Abahani openers who are the top-two run-scorers in the competition with 719 and 644 runs respectively, had an off week. Instead, the spotlight was on Habibur Rahman Sohan after he hit a quick century. He struck 14 fours and six sixes in that innings of 101 in 66 balls for Gazi Group against Shinepukur Cricket Club.
Best bowlers
Abahani legspinner Rishad Hossain was the performer of the week. He took 4 for 29 against City Club, his best bowling figures in a competitive white-ball match. It was also his first DPL match this season, and came after he made his T20I debut for Bangladesh last month. It was also the best bowling figures by a legspinner in the DPL since Alok Kapali's five-for in 2016.
Ebadot Hossain took a four-wicket haul for Sheikh Jamal against Prime Bank predominantly using the short ball. Robiul Haque, who is tied with Parvez Rasool at 23 wickets at the top of the wicket-takers' chart, and Enamul Haque also took four-fors this week.
Best match
Legends of Rupganj allrounder Chirag Jani bowled an excellent final over to help his side prevail by one run against Dhaka Leopards. Leopards needed seven runs to win in the last over, before it became two off the last ball. Jani first attempted to run Umar Amin out at the non-striker's end but the batter wasn't out of his crease. He came back and bowled a short ball that Suhrawardi Shuvo could only bunt to short midwicket. The substitute fielder Ashiqul Alam ran to the non-striker's end to beat Shuvo to the crease, to run him out.
Points to ponder
The three bottom-placed teams, Agrani Bank, Shinepukur and Leopards, will play the relegation playoffs. Both Shinepukur and Leopards have to win both games and hope Agrani lose both games to stand a chance of staying in the DPL next season. Those who didn't make it in the Super League or slip into the relegation danger zone were Rupganj Tigers, Brothers Union and City Club.
Players to watch
Mohammedan Sporting dropped Soumya Sarkar for their last two matches. His poor form, 161 runs at an average of 20.13, has concerned the national selectors.
Legends of Rupganj's Jani, meanwhile, has been the best overseas player so far this season. His 400-plus runs and 17 wickets is the best all-round performance. Jani had a good season last time too, scoring 597 runs and taking 27 wickets.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84