Perfect 11 for Abahani as they close in on 22nd DPL title

Perfect 11 for Abahani as they close in on 22nd DPL title
Perfect 11 for Abahani as they close in on 22nd DPL title

There’s no stopping Abahani Limited – they have now crushed their closest rivals, Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club, to win all 11 matches of the first phase of the Dhaka Premier League. It has left them just three wins away from claiming their 22nd DPL title as the top six teams head into the Super League phase.

In the match billed as this season’s biggest fixture – between the two supposedly richest teams – Abahani bowled out Sheikh Jamal for just 88 runs, their lowest-ever score in the DPL. Then they chased down the meagre target in 10.2 overs without losing a wicket.

Shinepukur Cricket Club, meanwhile, have finished second on the table with eight wins, ahead of Mohammedan Sporting Club and Sheikh Jamal on net run-rate. They beat fellow Super League qualifiers Gazi Group Cricketers and Mohammedan, before polishing off Legends of Rupganj this week. Significantly for them, Shinepukur have reached the Super League phase for the first time.

Irfan Sukkur and Habibur Rahman Sohan scored crucial runs after the Eid break to take their respective sides, Shinepukur and Gazi Group, into the Super League. Left-hand batter Irfan struck an unbeaten 106 against Rupganj after his 84 against Gazi Group, both match-winning knocks. Young Sohan struck a 55-ball 81 against Brothers Union before the unbeaten 102 against City Club that sealed Gazi Group’s Super League spot.
Parvez Hossain Emon finished the first phase with the most runs, 585 at 53.18 with three centuries. He is the only one to breach the 500-run mark, while Mohammad Naim, Mahidul Islam Ankon, Saif Hassan and Tamim Iqbal are among the top-five scorers.
Quick bowler Nahid Rana, who recently made his Test debut against Sri Lanka, took 12 wickets this week, including a five-wicket haul against Mohammedan and a four-for against Gazi Group. Left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed took the other five-for this week.
Left-arm quicks have ruled the DPL’s first phase. Gazi Group’s Ruyel Miah finished as the top wicket-taker with 25 wickets at 14.76. Abu Hider and Maruf Mridha, both left-arm fast bowlers, are among the top four, while Ifran Hossain, a right-arm quick, is in sixth place. Rishad Hossain, the legspinner, and left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam are the others in the top five.
Abahani came into the week with nine wins in a row but it would all come to nothing if they couldn’t dominate fellow big-spenders Prime Bank Cricket Club and Sheikh Jamal. They racked up 341 for 4 against Prime Bank, with Anamul Haque and captain Najmul Hossain Shanto hitting centuries. Towhid Hridoy struck a breezy unbeaten 65 too. Prime Bank were all out for 283 in reply after Taskin Ahmed and Tanjim Hasan Sakib took three wickets each to kill off any threat.
Shoriful Islam‘s four wickets, with help from Taskin and Tanjim, bowled Sheikh Jamal out for 88.

An official of the cricket committee of Dhaka Metropolis, the body that runs the Dhaka leagues, confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that Gazi Tyres Cricket Academy, City Club and Rupganj Tigers will play in the relegation playoffs. They are all tied on four points along with Partex Sporting Club, who avoided relegation because of a higher net run-rate than Rupganj.

Mridha stood out among the teenaged cricketers who debuted in the DPL this season. The left-arm fast bowler took 19 wickets for Gazi Tyres Cricket Academy. Among the others, 16-year old Nuhayel Sandeed became the first left-arm wristspinner to play List-A cricket in Bangladesh. Sandeed took two wickets on debut against Prime Bank, the DPL side coached by his father Mohammad Salahuddin.

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