Abahani Limited took a giant leap towards regaining Dhaka Premier League title when they edged past fellow aspirants Legends of Rupganj by 60 runs in a crucial Super League match at the BKSP on Monday. In a match relatively free from controversy, some that has become the hallmark of Abahani this season, Mosaddek Hossain displayed a fine all-round performance claiming 5-43 to add with a rapid-fire half-century to orchestrate the win.
The win helped Abahani take the pole position in the title race as they
joined Rupganj on top of the table with a round to play and their game against Prime Doleshwar still undecided.
They will win the title irrespective of the outcome of the other matches should they beat Prime Bank Cricket Club in their final match as they are ahead of Rupganj in other equations.
In-form batsman Mosaddek and Sakib al Hasan set up the Abahani win after a sluggish start as they added 140 off 99 balls for the fifth wicket to take the team to a challenging 290-8.
Mosaddek hit 73 off 55 balls with eight fours and two sixes while Sakib smashed 66 off 57 balls to seize initiative after Abahani’s top-order failed to give the side the kind of start they were looking for.
Liton Das made 51 off 69 balls and put 76 runs with Tamim Iqbal (33 off 46 balls) in the opening stand but Abahani slowed down once left-arm spinner Taijul Islam removed them.
Taijul, Rupganj’s most successful bowler with 3-45, also dismissed Dinesh Karthik after Asif Ahmed got rid of Nazmul Hossain to leave Abahani stuttering at 4-112.
Mosaddek and Sakib steadied the inning before launching a counter-attack to put Abahani in control.
Asif, who also claimed 3-57, ended their partnership by removing Sakib, who clubbed six fours and two sixes in his second successive league fifty.
Sakib later took 2-50 to play his part with the ball, but Mosaddek, who has now best batting average among all batsmen in the league with 77.71, stole the show with his gentle off-spin bowling.
‘I am feeling really special because this is for the first time I have taken five wickets in my career,’ Mosaddek told reporters after the match.
‘On top of that we are now close to winning the title as we need only our last game to win. This is what our ultimate goal is now.’
Chasing a big target, Rupganj lost their first three wickets for 35 runs before Mohammad Mithun offered some resistance with 55 off 61 balls.
The game ended as a contest when Mosaddek made Pawan Negi a catch for Nazmul Hossain, though Asif Ahmed made a last-ditch attempt to rescue his side with a quick-fire 70 off 55 balls.
Taskin Ahmed, who claimed 2-31, bowled Asif to wrap-up the game, giving Abahani a sniff of title for the first time in their controversial journey throughout the league.
Abahani Limited 290-8 in 50 overs (Mosaddek 73, Sakib 66, Liton 51, Tamim 33; Taijul 3-45, Asif 3-57) v Legends of Rupganj 230 in 44.4 overs (Asif 70, Mithun 55, Nahid 36; Mosaddek 5-43, Taskin 2-31, Sakib 2-50)
Result: Abahani Limited won by 60 runs.
Man of the match: Mosaddek Hossain (Abahani Limited)
-With New Age input