POST TIME: 20 April, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Saifuddin spearheads Abahani
Sports Reporter, Dhaka

Saifuddin spearheads Abahani

Abahani pacer all-rounder Mohammed Saifuddin delivers a ball during his five wicket haul against Prime Bank in the Dhaka Premier League Super Six match at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital yesterday. BCB Photo

Mohammad Saifuddin’s gripping five-for was complemented by Nazmul Hossain Shanto’s unbeaten 77 and Wasim Jaffer’s 64 as Abahani Limited registered their third consecutive win in the DPL Super League with six-wicket victory over Prime Bank Cricket Club at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

By beating Prime Bank, Abahani took their sweet revenge of their league round loss. But despite winning the match against the Bankers, Abahani remained second place on points-table with 22 points after Legends of Rupganj (24). As a result, the fourth-round fixture between the two teams became crucial to decide the 2019 title decider.

If the Legends could beat the holders, in that case, the former will be the new DPL champions with one round game to spare. But if they lose the match to Abahani, in that case, the total points of both the teams would be the identical. The title will therefore be decided in the fifth-round tie.    

Abahani Limited lost Soumya Sarkar in the initial second over to overhaul the modest target of 227 set by Prime Bank. Wicketkeeper-batsman Jahurul Islam and Sabbir Rahman Rumman attempted to rebuild the innings but Ariful Haque and Abdur Razak sent them back in the space of nine runs, while they were stuttering at 55-3.

Abahani’s India recruit batsman Wasim Jaffer once again rescued the team and clattered an invaluable 122 for the fourth-wicket stand with Nazmul Hossain Shanto before his exit. The 41-year-old batsman clouted 64 off 80 with two sixes and three fours at his 105-minute stay at wickets.

Shanto then added an unbeaten 51 with Mohammad Mithun for the sixth-wicket that slotted the team through with six wickets and 32 balls to spare. Shanto cracked four boundaries and a six in his indefatigable 84-ball 77. Mithun clubbed 33 off 24, clobbering three fours and a six.

Fast bowler Mohammad Saifuddin once again was named as the player of the match for his bowling display.

Earlier, Prime Bank Cricket Club stumbled to open their batting proceedings after being invited to bat first on Mirpur’s unpredicted track when on-song Mohammad Saifuddin trapped opener Anamul Haque Bijoy lbw with his swing delivery. It was Bijoy’s third duck after his credible record of third consecutive hundred in DPL.

Coincidentally, both the records of third hat-trick in ducks and centuries what has been done against holders Abahani. He smashed 100 (off 111) against Legends of Rupganj and 101 (off 120) against Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club before his brilliant 102 (off 128) against Abahani to complete his century’s hat-trick.

The wicketkeeper-batsman then struck his third duck against Abahani following their ducks against Shinepukur Cricket Club and Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club.

Saifuddin compounded Prime Bank’s batting woes when he preyed Rubel Mia to his second wicket, while the Bankers were sprawling at seven for two inside three overs.

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza pushed them back further with his double strikes when he got rid of Salman Hossain and Zakir Hasan on his two successive overs.

Mehidy Hasan Miraj and Soumya Sarkar thereafter dipped them further to 66-6 from 38-4. In-form Nayeem Hasan led the rescue with Alok Kapali from the precarious situation and hit a useful 108 before Kapali’s departure. Alok Kapali blasted a patient 80 off 112 that contained four sixes and half-a-dozen fours.

Mohammad Saifuddin put the brakes on Prime Bank as he scathed though the lower down batsmen to complete his fifter. Of them, he sent Monir Hossain and Abdur Razzak back in the same over. Nayeem hardly crossed 200-run mark with the help of the fellow batsmen and finally managed to put on 226 on the board before being all-out in 49.3 overs. Nayeem remained at stranded on 51.