BU vie to scale Kenyan peak
Mohammedan Sporting wagged long their tail to put up a fighting total against Brothers Union in a crucial Janakantha Premier Division Cricket League match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
The otherwise fragile Mohammedan tail produced an invaluable 44 runs as the popular Motijheel outfit recuperated from a vulnerable position to a respectable 294 before being all out with two balls to spare in their stipulated 80 overs.
While Mohammedan set Brothers a tough task for today, Surjo Tarun and Kalabagan Krira Chakra ensured an unscheduled rest-day as they made light work of Victoria and Orient respectively in the other two games that began on the day.
At the BKSP in Savar, Surjo Tarun made a mockery of a contest when the star-studded Dhanmondi outfit shot Victoria out for 68 in 24.4 overs, the lowest total in the league this season. Thanks to a five-wicket haul from right-arm seamer Sajal Chowdhury.
In reply, Surjo Tarun reached 72 in 16.2 overs with eight wickets in hand.
On the other hand, Kalabagan, aided by a five-wicket burst from their Pakistani recruit, Shahid Saeed, also recorded an identical eight-wicket win over promotees Orient Sporting at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium.
But the excitement on the resuming day after the nine-day Eid break was provided at the big bowl where the two Kenyan recruits of Mohammedan, Steve Tikolo and Maurice Odumbe, scored half-centuries, much to the delight of a few hundred (unofficial) holiday makers.
The eventful day, which saw Brothers conceding a staggering 56 runs as extras, was also marked by an early lunch break after the northern breeze carried the agonising stench of tear gas from the Purana Paltan area at around 11:30 am. Apart from that stray incident, the match progressed smoothly during the hartal day.
Mohammedan won the toss in the morning and opted to bat first. But table-leaders Brothers wrested an early initiative when they removed openers Rashedul Haq and Imran Hamid in 40 minutes with the board reading only 22.
One-down Selim Shahed and Kenyan Steve Tikolo repaired the damage, putting on 42 runs for the third wicket. The partnership was broken at 64 when Selim Shahed edged a delivery from Khaled Mahmud to wicketkeeper Jahangir Alam after scoring 13.
Then came the biggest partnership of the Mohammedan innings between Tikolo and young Nasirul Alam, which added 62 runs for the fourth wicket to see Mohammedan cross the hundred mark in the 24th over.
Tikolo hammered a stroke-filled 63 off 69 balls. The prolific Kenyan right-hander took only 48 balls to complete his sixth fifty in eight league matches. He smote a huge sixer and seven disdainful boundaries in his polished knock. But Tikolo departed in an unfortunate manner when he dragged the ball into his stumps while trying to hook a snorter from Aamir Hanif.
The former Pakistan international also captured the wicket of Tikolo's compatriot Odumbe, who scored a workmanlike 55 off 93 balls. It was Odumbe's second half-century after his match-winning 88 in the inaugural game against Wari.
Skipper Mohammad Rafi-que, who put on 43 runs for the sixth wicket with Odumbe, chipped in with 22. But the southpaw, who hammered a sweetly-timed straight six off off-spinner Sanuar, threw away his wicket at a stage when more responsibility was expected of him. Rafique, carried away by the sudden rush of blood, holed out at deep mid-wicket while attempting a big hit against Sanuar Hossain.
After Rafique's departure, Odumbe took the score to 250, sharing an invaluable 53-run partnership with wicketkeeper Golam Mortuza for the seventh wicket.
In the remaining six overs, Mohammedan scored 44 runs, thanks to Mortuza, who chipped in with a patient 30 off 86 balls.
The match will continue today.
Away at the BKSP ground, Victoria, put into bat, were bundled out for 68 in the face of some fired-up bowling from Sajal Chowdhury, who finished with magnificent figures of five for 24 from his 9.4 overs. He was ably helped by his senior new-ball partner left-arm pacer Anisur Rahman, who took three wickets for 33.
In reply, Surjo Tarun raced to 72 for two in 16.2 overs with Khaled Mashud remaining undefeated on 26. Opener Parvez, who scored 25, was the other notable run-getter.
At the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium, opener Sajid Hassan scored an unbeaten 59 as Kalabagan, chasing a paltry Orient total of 141, reached 143 in 32.4 overs with eight wickets to spare.
Earlier, Kalabagan's Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Saeed also returned with five for 58 as Orient, sent into bat, were all out for 141 in 50.4 overs.