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Ending all speculations, Mohammedan Sporting Club finally moved to the Super League phase with a game to spare in Dhaka Premier League (DPL).
After being winless in the first five matches, it looked highly likely that the traditional powerhouse won't secure a super league spot for the second consecutive time but the return of national players including Shakib Al Hasan boosted their confidence to such extent they won five straight matches.
But no big names, it was wicket-keeper Mahidul Islam Ankon who led the emphatic 52-run victory over Shinepukur Cricket Club today at BSKP-3 ground to help the side secure the spot.
Also the defeat of Gazi Group Cricketers to Brothers Union contributed in their early entrance to the Super League. If Gazi Group won the match, Mohammedan would have to wait till the last game to know their fate.
Gazi Group who had nine points now in 10 matches, will take on Shinepukur in their last match and if they win, they will go through Super League.
If they fail to win, Brothers and City Club who had eight points each could give a shot to the super league as the sixth team. Brothers will take on Rupganj Tigers Cricket Club but City would have to face off more tougher opponents like Abahani Limited.
Abahani Limited (18 points), Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club (18 points), Legends of Rupganj (16 points) and Prime Bank Cricket Club (12 points) had already moved to the Super League. After winning today's game, Mohammedan moved to fifth position with 11 points.
Put into bat first, Mohammedan compiled 276-6 thanks to Ankon who blasted a run-a-ball-125 with six fours and seven sixes. Skipper Imrul Kayes made 69 off 86 with seven fours and two sixes while Shakib Al Hasan scored 30 off 25 with one four and two sixes.
Pacer Mehedi Hasan Rana and Masum Khan Tutul took two wickets apiece for Shinepukur.
However Shinepukur were bowled out for 224 in 43.2 overs with Shubham Sharma making highest 66. He indeed kept the Shinepukur hopes alive but Shakib Al Hasan claimed his wicket to dent the hopes. Opener Khalid Hasan made 56.
Nazmul Apu was the best bowler for Mohammedan with 3-41 while Musfik Hasan and Jake Lintott grabbed two wickets apiece.
Brothers Union vs Gazi Group Cricketers
Opener Tanzid Hasan Tamim hammered a 114 ball-106 runs knock as Brothers Union chased down 306 runs target effortlessly to beat Gazi Group Cricketers by five wickets in at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
Thanks to a century of opener Mehedi Maruf, Gazi Group Cricketers piled up 305-7 after being asked to bat first. In form Maruf, struck 100 off 104 with eight fours and two sixes while Farhad Hossain made 85.
Mahmudul Hasan hit a fluent 49 and Anamul Haque made 21 ball-39 not out toward the end to help Gazi Group propel past 300 runs mark.
Arafat Sunny Junior scalped 3-34 while Mahedi Hasan took 2-36 for Brothers.
But Tanzid made it cake-walk, hitting six fours and five sixes for his 106, which helped the side gun down the target in 49 overs. Anisul Islam Emon chipped-in-with 57 and Sabbir Hossain added 48 to complement Tanzid's effort. Saad Nasimw as 39 not out.
City Clubs vs Rupganj
An unbeaten 61-run partnership from the ninth wicket pair helped City Club to secure a two-wicket win over Rupganj Tigers Cricket Club in the last ball of the match at Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium.
No. 9 batter Robiul Haque was 32 not out and No. 10 batter Irfan Hossain was 31 not out after securing the victory for the side which crushed Rupganj's hopes to stay alive for Super League.
Rupganj had now just seven points in 10 matches while City whose Super League hope was also ended, had so far eight from 10 matches.
After being sent to bat first, Rupganj Tigers were restricted to 231-8 with opener Imranuzzmana top-scoring 43 and Shamim Patwary adding 39.
Robiul Haque and Rafsan Al Mahmud claimed two wickets apiece.
Shahriar Komol set the platform with 69 before Robiul and Irfan's rearguard action helped the side clinch the last ball drama.