Sri Lankan great Sanath Jayasuriya continued his Dhaka jinx but Mohammedan rode on Tareq Aziz's heroics with bat and ball to shoot Biman down with a two-wicket victory, in an exciting encounter of the Premier Division Cricket League at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
It was a vital win for the Motijheel outfit, which has now enabled them to brighten their Super League chances as well as keeping their hopes alive in the title race as they improved their tally to 11 points from nine matches.
Biman's second defeat in the nine games however paved the way for Abahani to take a solo lead in the point-table as Mashrafe Bin Mortaza led from the front with an all-round performance, to secure a 25-run victory for the defending champions against BKSP at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium.
Abahani has stretched their lead to 16 points while Biman is sited on 14 points to share the second spot with Surjo Torun, who rode on their captain Khaled Mashud's unbeaten century to pull off an exciting eight-run victory over Gazi Tank at BKSP.
Gazi has now slipped to the third position with 12 points.
The dashing left-hander Jayasuriya scored only two runs but it was former Tigers paceman Aziz who hogged the spotlight in the clash of the heavyweights.
Tareq first claimed four wickets conceding 36 runs as Biman were all out for 231 runs in 48.5 overs, after opting to bat first despite opener Nazmus Sadat's stroke-filled 80.
Tareq then played a pivotal part with the bat in front of a sparse crowd at the big bowl as the number ten batsman smashed a straight six off spinner Nabil Samad, which brought the winning runs for Mohammedan with two balls to spare.
One down Nadimuddin however top scored with 51 off 91 balls that featured three fours and a six while Nasiruddin Faruque and Faisal Hossain scored 38 runs each.
Earlier Sadat smoted eight fours and three sixes during his 70-ball 80 while skipper Sanwar Hossain contributed 41 off 68 balls with one boundary as Biman put up a decent total on the board.
Besides Tareq, pacer Dollar Mahmud claimed three wickets for 51 runs while Jayasuriya took two for 38 runs.
Mashrafe followed up his unbeaten half-century with a three wicket haul as Abahani continued their winning spree to maintain the lead in the 12-team fray.
Abahani made a poor start when inform Rony Talukdar returned to the pavilion in the very first over, after being put into bat first but Imran Ahmed joined Tamim Iqbal to repair the damage by associating a 56-run stand for the second wicket.
Imran made 53 off 104 balls that comprised of eight boundaries while Tamim added 23 off 46 balls with the help of three boundaries.
It was however Mashrafe who enabled his side to put up a fighting total as the right-hander clobbered six fours and a six during his 44-ball 56.
In reply, Asif Ahmed made 51 off 102 balls but his effort was not good enough to upset the giants, as BKSP were restricted to 205-9.
Nasir Hossain was the most successful bowler with figures of four for 34.
Former national skipper Khaled Mashud made exactly hundred and shared a 102-run partnership with Hannan Sarker for the third wicket as Surjo Torun made 236-6 in their stipulated 50 overs.
Veteran Mashud's innings saw six fours and two sixes while Hannan added 60 off 87 deliveries that featured four boundaries.
Spinner Nayeem Islam captured three wickets for 38 runs.
In reply, Gazi failed to recover from their initial slow start as they were restricted to 228-9.
Indian Pravanjan Mullick and keeper Mohammad Mithun both scored 44 runs. Number seven Mahmudul Hassan tried to accelerate the run rate during his 31-ball 33 that included five fours but his effort was not good enough to takeover the total.
Sanjamul Islam and Saqlain Sajib both took two wickets each for the victors.
BIMAN: 231 all out in 48.5 overs (Sadat 80, Zahid 20, Sanwar 41, Mushfiqur 24, extras 22; Tareq 4-36, Jayasuriya 2-38, Dollar 3-51)
MOHAMMEDAN: 234-8 in 49.4 overs (Faruque 38, Nadimuddin 51, Rokibul 27, Shamsur 28, Faisal 38, extras 16; Shahadat 3-38, Nabil 2-49)
Result: Mohammedan won by two wickets.
ABAHANI: 230-6 in 50 overs (Tamim 23, Sahagir 53, Nasir 26, Nadif 42, Mashrafe 56 not out, extras 13; Saikat 2-29, Tanveer 2-22)
BKSP: 205-9 in 50 overs (Saikat 32, Asif 51, Imamul 28, Riaz 22, extras 15; Mashrafe 3-31, Nasir 4-34)
Result: Abahani won by 25 runs.
SURJO TORUN: 236-6 in 50 overs (Hannan 60, Mashud 100 not out, Anisur 26, extras 16; Nayeem 3-38)
GAZI: 228-9 in 50 overs (Pravanjan 44, Mithun 44, Hassan 33, extras 8; Sanjamul 2-36, Sajib 2-37)
Result: Surjo Torun won by eight runs.