Needing six runs off the last ball, Biman's last batsman Talha Jubair stepped out but could manage only a boundary as title aspirants Mohammedan survived the scare to post an exciting one-run victory to keep their winning run intact in the Premier Division Cricket League yesterday.
It was another nail-biting contest involving Mohammedan, after their action-packed game against Gazi Tank cricketers in the previous round, at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur when they recovered from early hiccups on a juicy track to put up 234 for 9 on the board in their share of 50 overs.
The national flag carrier also put up a bold chase in an attempt to avoid their third consecutive defeat. Aftab Ahmed (62) and Khaled Mashud (49) brilliantly repaired the damages by associating in a 108-run partnership for the fourth wicket, but in the end it was Sri Lankan all-rounder Farveez Maharoof who turned the table on Biman by claiming two wickets at a crucial stage and causing two run outs with direct hits.
The chance seemed remote for Biman when they required 14 runs from the last over with two wickets in hand, but a lucky third-man boundary off the very first ball against left-arm spinner Saqlain Sajib and a dropped catch at gully by Shamsur Rahman revived their hopes.
Sajib however came back and bowled Shafiul Islam in the fifth ball leaving Biman six runs to score off the last delivery.
Earlier Maharoof sent his compatriot Jehan Mubarak, who made an 85-ball 60 with three boundaries, back to the pavilion to break the 63-run fourth wicket partnership between Mubarak and Mehrab Hossain, who was caught short of his ground by a direct throw from Maharoof after hitting a 47-ball 38 that saw two sixes.
Maharoof then effected the run out of another danger man Sanwar Hossain (23) and bowled Tareq Aziz (1) to make the task difficult for Biman, who needed 79 runs in the last ten overs with seven wickets in hand.
Biman's innings finally ended on 233-9 in 50 overs. Opener Avishek Mitra was the other notable scorer with 61 off 88 balls before being falling victim of run out.
Earlier, two new ball bowlers Talha Jubair and Tareq Aziz brilliantly used the early morning condition after skipper Sanwar had decided to field first, to test the Mohammedan top order including Mohammad Ashraful, who was dismissed for naught in 19 balls after making a hundred in the previous game.
Tareq caused the early damages by picking up two wickets and finished with four for 39 in 9 overs.
Mohammedan tottered at 23-3 but veteran wicketkeeper-cum-batsman Mashud joined Aftab to perform the rescue act. Former national skipper Mashud, who stuck five boundaries, offered a simple return catch to Sanwar to miss his deserved half-century by only one run.
Aftab however completed his second half-century in the competition as the right-hander scored 62 off 56 balls that contained seven sweetly timed boundaries. Two more vital innings came from Marshal Ayub (46) and Faisal Hossain (29).
Mohammedan however desperately missed the services of national all-rounder Mahmudullah Riyad, who was admitted to hospital Sunday night due to sudden sickness, in the match.
SCORES IN BRIEF
MOHAMMEDAN: 234-9 in 50 overs (Aftab 62, Mashud 49, Marshal 46, Faisal 29, extras 9; Tareq 4-39)
BIMAN: 233-9 in 50 overs (Mitra 61, Sunny 17, Mubarak 60, Mehrab 38, Sanwar 23, extras 10; Delwar 2-51, Maharoof 2-51)
Result: Mohammedan won by one run.