Liton Das and Sakib Al Hasan starred with bat and ball respectively as Abahani Limited shrugged off their recent controversies to crush Mohammedan Sporting Club by a record 260-run margin in the Dhaka Premier League at BKSP on Wednesday. Liton struck his career best 139 off 125 balls and shared 162-run with Indian recruit Dinesh Karthik, who also scored a century, for the third wicket partnership to propel Abahani to a massive 371-5 at the lush green sports academy ground.
Sakib, who played his part in the run fest with a whirlpool 57 off 24 balls, then grabbed his personal best 5-18, as Abahani dismissed Mohammedan for a paltry 111 runs in 24.3 overs to record the massive win.
With the win, the biggest by any side in Dhaka Premier League history, Abahani also avenged their eight-wicket loss to Mohammedan in the first phase of the league.
Abahani’s total is the highest by any side ever scored in a List A match played in Bangladesh surpassing India’s 370-4 in the 2011 World Cup opening match against the home side in Mirpur.
England also scored 370-7 in a match against Bangladesh Cricket Board XI at Fatullah.
The highest total ever recorded in a Dhaka Premier League match was Legends of Rupganj’s 357-6 against Old DOHS in Fatullah in 2014-15 season. Rupganj beat Old DOHS by 247 runs in the match, which until Wednesday was the biggest ever win in a DPL match.
There were very little indications that Abahani, who have seen their last match against Prime Doleshwar remaining incomplete in controversial circumstances, would break so many records once they were sent to bat first Mohammedan captain Mushfiqur Rahim.
Tamim Iqbal returned for 22 after facing 32 balls before one-down Nazmul Hossain Shanto was clean bowled for seven to leave the side stuttering at 64-2.
Liton, who struggled with his form throughout the season, steadied the innings with Kartik before completing his first fifty in league off 60 balls. It helped him grew in confidence as he took only 42 more balls to complete his only second ever List A century sweeping left-arm spinner Faisal Hossain for a four.
Liton, who hit 18 fours and a six off left-arm spinner Enamul Haque Jr in his epic innings, was eventually bowled by Araiful Haque, Mohammedan’s most successful bowler with 2-55.
Liton credited his 48-run innings of the ill-fated previous match against Prime Doleshwar for helping him regain the confidence.
‘My last innings was vital,’ said Liton. ‘Because the wicket was not permitting it, situation also was not like this. Since I was not in the form even scoring 48 runs came as challenge. I could improve because of the confidence that I got in that innings.’
Sakib joined Kartik, who scored 109 off 97 balls, to leave Mohammedan bowlers clueless as he smashed two fours and fours sixes to complete his fifty off just 22 balls. He hit another six before being finally dismissed but Mosaddek Hossain remained unbeaten on 19 off 14 balls to give them the record total.
Sakib and Taskin Ahmed struck immediately to leave Mohammedan 8-2, a start from where they could never recover. Naeem Islam made highest 32 runs while Mushfiqur Rahim added 26 but they could only reduce some margin.
Sakib dismissed Emon Ahmed to wrap up the game and complete his first five-wicket haul in Dhaka Premier League. This is only second time he took five or more wickets in List A cricket with his previous best 5-47 coming against Zimbabwe in an one-day international match in last year.
Abahani Limited 371-5 in 50 overs (Liton 139, Karthik 109, Sakib 57; Arif 2-55) v Mohammedan SC 111 in 24.3 overs (Naeem 32, Mushfiq 26; Sakib 5-18)
Result: Abahani Limited won by 260 runs.
Man of the match: Liton Das (Abahani Limited)
-With New Age input