Premier Division on
The Premier Division Cricket League started yesterday with defending champions Abahani, title-contenders Mohammedan and dark-horse Surjo Torun recording convincing victories on the opening day.
Mohammedan staged a comfortable victory against Victoria at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium, thanks to an all-round performance by Marshal Ayub. Mohammedan opted to field first and soon reduced the opponents to 20 for three within the first five overs.
Victoria recovered somewhat from that position, thanks to a few mediocre contributions from their middle-order batsmen. Arafat Salahuddin top-scored for Victoria with 49. Ayub got rid of the last three wickets in quick time to skittle Victoria for 191 in 47 overs. His spin partner Nabil Samad also chipped in with three important wickets.
Ayub then played out an unbeaten knock of 71, partnering with Aftab Ahmed who scored 53, to see his side home, scripting a five-wicket win with 8.5 overs to spare.
Mohammedan's bitter rivals and defending champions Abahani who come in to the league on the back of the T20 triumph, hardly had to break a sweat as they swept past Kalabagan by eigth wickets at BKSP.
Winning the toss, Abahani sent Kalabagan in to bat and got them out for just 110 in 39.5 overs. Their two fast bowlers, Shubhashis Roy and Rabiul Islam utilised the conditions to good effect, bagging four wickets each, while Zubaer Ahmed played a lone hand for the hapless Kalabagan with his knock of 57 in 99 deliveries.
Abahani batters romped past the meagre total in 20.5 overs, losing only two wickets in the process. Opener Rony Talukder stayed unbeaten on 66 to ensure the comfortable victory.
In the other match of the day, Surjo Torun recorded a five-wicket win over newcomers Khelaghar Samaj Kalyan Samity at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra. Khelaghar, batting first, managed to score a modest total of 162 runs in their allotted 50 overs against a very disciplined Surjo Torun attack. Mahbubul was the star with the ball as he took four wickets for 33.
Chasing this small target, Surjo Torun had a few hiccups, but in the end their experienced captain Habibul Bashar guided them home with a sensible knock of 56 not out.
Earlier in the morning, former Bangladesh opener and ex-national selector Asaduzzaman Misha inaugurated the league at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium. Bangladesh Cricket Board's senior vice-president Mahbubul Anam, acting CEO Nizam Uddin Chowdhury, Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis chairman GS Hassan Chowdhury and other CCDM officials were also present.