DPL week six: Abahani on course for DPL title after Sheikh Jamal drop crucial points

Afif Hossain scored a century as Abahani Limited maintained their unbeaten record in the Super League

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Afif Hossain celebrates his century against Prime Bank  •  Walton

Afif Hossain celebrates his century against Prime Bank  •  Walton

Here is a round-up of the sixth week at the 2022-23 Dhaka Premier League

Key takeaways

Abahani Limited maintained a 100% record in the Super League phase of the Dhaka Premier League. They beat Mohammedan Sporting Club, Prime Bank Cricket Club and Legends of Rupganj, while defending champions Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club dropped points against Gazi Group who beat them by seven wickets. Sheikh Jamal were bowled out for 89 runs.
With two matches remaining for all teams in Super League, Sheikh Jamal must win both. Their last game is against Abahani, on May 13, which could be the title decider. If Sheikh Jamal drop points before, the last round is a mere formality for Abahani.

Best batters - Afif Hossain, Zakir Hasan impress

Abahani's Afif Hossain scored heavily this week to keep them in the title hunt. He struck an unbeaten 111 against Prime Bank. In another match, it was the Prime Bank openers Shahadat Hossain and Zakir Hasan who struck centuries, only the fifth instance of both DPL openers hitting a century. Amite Hasan also made a century to help Shinepukur in their crucial relegation playoff against Agrani Bank. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club's Fazle Mahmud missed out on a century when he made 93 not out against Mohammedan.

Best bowlers - Khushdil Shah takes another six-for

Abahani's latest foreign recruit Khushdil Shah claimed 6 for 49, the second six-for in the DPL this season, against Prime Bank in Fatullah. Ripon Mondol's four-wicket haul also came in handy for Abahani against Prime Bank. Naeem Ahmed and Hasan Murad took five and four wickets respectively to help Shinepukur crush Agrani Bank in their last relegation play-off match.

Best match - Abahani vs Mohammedan

There hasn't been a memorable Abahani vs Mohammedan match, dubbed the Dhaka derby, in many years. So when Abahani staged a late comeback to beat their one-time arch-rivals on the first day of the Super League this season, it attracted some headlines.
Abahani won by eight runs after Mohammedan faltered at the end of their 259-run chase in Mirpur. Tanzim Hasan Sakib's fantastic penultimate over got Abahani the win, as he gave away just four runs when Mohammedan needed 24 off the last two overs. Mosaddek Hossain then closed out the game with an effective final over.

Points to ponder

Abahani and Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club are in a two-team race for the title while at the bottom of the points table, Shinepukur Cricket Club won their relegation playoff matches. It means Agrani Bank and Dhaka Leopards are relegated to the Dhaka First Division Cricket League next season.

Players to watch - Mahmudullah, Mosaddek, Nurul among runs

Among the players competing for a place in the Bangladesh side, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain and Nurul Hasan got two fifties each this week. Usually a strong finish in the DPL keeps players close to senior team selection for the rest of the season. So with a lot of important one-day cricket coming up for Bangladesh in 2023, these runs could prove vital.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84