Abahani bounced back strongly and brightened their chances of regaining the Premier Cricket League title when they beat Old DOHS by 39 runs in the penultimate Super League match at BKSP yesterday.
Although the popular Dhanmondi side did their part by winning the match with apparent ease, they were done the most-needed favour by Cricket Coaching School (CCS) who all but dashed Gazi Tank’s hopes.
Alok Kapali hit a brilliant 87 but still could not resist Gazi Tank’s narrow one-run defeat in an exciting game at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra.
Abahani, who lost their previous match to Gazi Tank, again took the solo lead with 24 points while Gazi stayed on 22 for second position.
The day’s outcome made the equation only difficult for Gazi as they have to beat Biman in their last game on Saturday while Abahani must lose to archrivals Mohammedan. If these happen, Gazi will consider themselves lucky because, although on same points with Abahani, the title will be theirs’ by virtue of head-to-head advantage in the Super League.
In the day’s other match, defending champions Mohammedan rode on Pakistani batsman Shoaib Malik’s back-to-back hundred to bounce back from their last round defeat as they posted a six-wicket victory against Biman at the Shaheed Kamruzzaman Stadium in Rajshahi.
Mohammedan’s other Pakistani recruit, Azhar Mahmood was fined Tk 20,000 for showing dissent during the match.
Abahani made a solid start through a 50-run opening partnership between Anamul Haque and Hannan Sarker but they lost some quick wickets to reach at 72 for five.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Sahagir Hossain (39) joined Indian Reshmi Ranjan (69) to repair the damages by associating 100 runs for the sixth wicket as they scored 216 for nine in the stipulated 50 overs.
Two opening bowlers Forhad Reza and Moshiur Rahman caused the damages by sharing seven wickets. Forhad claimed three for 43 runs and Moshiur picked up four for 33.
In reply, Old DOHS finished their 50-over quota on 177 for 9. Number eight batsman Tanvir Haider top scored with 42.
Saqlain Sajib was the most successful Abahani bowler with three for 29.
CCS -GAZI TANK
Kapali returned to the dressing room as the ninth batsman out, leaving his team to score 14 runs from last eight balls to chase down 278. The match reached an exciting position when Gazi required three runs from the last ball but Syed Rasel could manage only one by pushing the ball to mid-off and his attempt for a second run to tie the match went in vain as Robiul caught him short of his ground.
After Mohammad Mithun’s 73, Kapali took the charge and smote five sixes and three boundaries during his 69-ball stay.
Earlier CCS put up a challenging total thanks to three half-centuries from Shuvagoto Hom (89), Atiqur Rahman (62) and Nazmul Hossain, who put the bowlers to the sword during his hurricane knock of 50 off 20 balls that contained four boundaries and as many sixes.
Indian Avishek Mitra slammed an unbeaten 110 with 10 fours and a six in a 143-ball knock as Biman made 222 for eight in 50 overs. The team’s second highest 34 runs came as extras.
In reply, Mohammedan overhauled the target making 224 for four thanks to Malik who hit unbeaten 107 off 120 balls that saw 13 fours and a six.
Faisal Hossain was the other notable scorer with a 66-ball 51.
SCORES IN BRIEF
ABAHANI: 216-9 in 50 overs (Hannan 24, Reshmi 69, Sahagir 39, extras 15; Forhad 3-43, Moshiur 4-33)
DOHS: 177-9 in 50 overs (Aftab 36, Mehrab 29, Tanvir 42, extras 9; Tapash 2-17, Lee 2-22, Saqlain 3-29)
Result: Abahani won by 39 runs.
CCS: 278 all out in 50 overs (Hom 89, Atiqur 62, Nazmul 50, extras 9;Sabbir 3-56, Azmat 2-32)
GAZI TANK: 277 all out in 50 overs (Mithun 73, Nasir 35, Kapali 87, extras 15; Bishawnath 3-46, Taposh 3-36)
Result: CCS won by one run.
BIMAN: 222-8 in 50 overs (Avishek 110 not out, Mosharraf 24, extras 34; Tareq 3-34, Mukter 2-16)
MOHAMMEDAN: 224-4 in 41.1 overs (Nazimuddin 25, Malik 107 not out, Shamsur 26, Faisal 51, extras 4; Niaz 3-43).
Result: Mohammedan won by six wickets.