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Abahani Limited regained the Dhaka Premier League (DPL) after edging Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club past by four wickets in a Super League match that turned out to be unofficial final at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium today.
Riding on skipper Nurul Hasan Sohan's 70 ball-89 not out, Sheikh Jamal posted a respectable 282-7 that looked daunting enough in a high-octane game. But Abahani Limited came up with disciplined batting in hunting down the target with four balls to spare, making 285-6.
Abahani rode on openers Anamul Haque Bijoy (72), Naim Sheikh (68) and Afif Hossain's (60 not out) half-century to gun down the target that gave the title after one season.
By winning the match, Abahani took their points to highest 28 after the completion of the super league phase. Sheikh Jamal, the champions of the last season, ended with runners-up, collecting 26 points.
Jamal and Abahani ended the first phase with identical 20 points but the former led the table thanks to win in the head to head battle. However, Jamal lost two matches in the super league phase. Abahani lost one against Gazi Group Cricket in the super league phase, giving Jamal a chance to defend the title but they failed to rise on the occasion.
Put into bat first, Jamal faced a wrath from Abahani left-arm spinner Tanvir Islam to be reduced to 16-3 but recovered thanks to Fazle Mahmud and Taibur Rahman who shared 81-run for the fourth wicket stand.
Pacer Tanzim Hasan Sakib made the breakthrough, claiming the wickets of Mahmud for 40 before Saifuddin dismissed Taibur who made 53. Sohand then got into act, hitting 89 off 70 with eight fours and four sixes that gave Jamal 123 runs in the last 10 overs. He was ably supported by Parvez Rasool's 42 and Zaiur Rahma's 14 ball-29.
Tanvir and Sakib claimed two wickets apiece for Abahani Limited. Opener Anamul Haque Bijoy hammered 72 off 81 with four fours and as many sixes to be the top-scorer for Abahani. His fellow opener Naim Sheikh hit 68 off 79, clobbering three fours and as many sixes as the duo kept Abahani's nose ahead with 145-run partnership in the opening stand.
But Abahani had a mini collapse when they lost three wickets for 14 runs including the two set openers. Afif Hossain thereafter played an impactful 53 ball-60 not out to sail the side home. Afif who struck four fours and two sixes was adjudged man of the match. Parvez Rasool and Taibur grabbed two wickets each for Sheikh Jamal.
In the day's other two matches, Prime Bank Cricket Club beat Gazi Group Cricketers by 73 runs at Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah and Mohammedan Sporting Club outclassed Legends of Rupganj by four wickets at BKSP-3 ground.
Prime Bank finished third with 20 points. Rupganj, Mohammedan and Gazi Group took the last three spots with 18, 17 and 15 points respectively.