Holders Mohamme-dan fought back from 107-6 to score 245-8 to beat Bangladesh Biman by two wickets in the crucial Dhaka Premier League match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Wednesday.
A brilliant all-round performance by Rajat Bhatia powered Abahani to a 39-run win over Prime Doleshwar at the Fatullah stadium while Kalabagan defeated Surjo Tarun by 80 runs at the BKSP.
The result means Abahani finished the first phase with 20 points from 11 matches, leading Mohammedan by three points.
Mohammedan v Biman
Biman missed the services of their prolific batsman Mushfiqur Rahim due to exam but were still able to put on a challenging 244-6 in their 50 overs thanks to half-centuries from Avishek Mitra and Pakistani Yasir Hameed, who made 52 and 54 runs respectively.
Opener Elias Sunny and two-down Jahirul Islam each made 47 runs for Biman.
Tamim Iqbal made 30 off 26 balls and Nazim Uddin added 48 from 47 balls to give Mohammedan a solid start, but a dramatic middle-order collapse almost took them to the brink of defeat.
Two high-profile batsmen, Shoaib Malik and skipper Sakib al Hasan, got out for 10 and 9 respectively, which triggered an angry reaction from Mohammedan supporters. They booed as he got out, though it did not change the situation.
Nafees Iqbal followed him two balls later as Mohammedan started wobbling losing six wickets for 106 runs inside 22 overs. Crisis man Faisal Hossain took the helm at this point and added 86 runs with Azhar Mahmood for the seventh wicket to bring them back in the game.
Mahmood made 53 off 73 balls and Faisal Hossain scored 41 off 52 before an unbeaten 37 off 35 balls by Muktar Ali took them to 245-8 with five balls left.
Abahani v Prime Doleshwar
Two half-centuries by the opener Imrul Kayes (82 off 100 balls) and Rajat Bhatia (90 off 96 balls) propelled Abahani to a respectable 248-9 and after his dazzling showing with the bat, Rajat also took 4-20, helping the side to dismiss Doleshwar for 209 runs.
Nazmul Hossain’s blistering 65 off 43 balls and Arman Hossain’s 61 in 92 balls were not enough to alter Doleshwar’s fate.
Kalabagan v Surjo Tarun
Opting to bat first, Kalabagan piled up a mammoth 257 runs for Surjo Tarun to chase. Roquibul Hassan scored 49 off 63, Wajid Ali and Nazmus Sadat added 45 and 38 respectively for Kalabagan.
Arafat Sunny picked up 4-32 for Kalabagan and Mahmudul Hassan’s 3-14 gave Surjo Tarun a nightmare start as they were bundled out for 177 runs.