Bangladesh team's promising stars Mohammad Naim and Afif Hossain struck fifties to help Abahani Limited post a formidable 183 for 5 before they eventually won against Shinepukur Cricket Club by 25 runs through DL method as rain marred proceedings during their Bangabandhu Dhaka Premier Division T20 League encounter at the BKSP 4 today.
Courtesy of Naim's 50-ball 70-run blitz and Afif's 42-ball 54, Abahani amassed a total of 183 for five -- a tournament high so far. Shinepukur were 123 for five, needing 61 from three overs before rain came in to halt proceedings.
Despite boasting a number of promising national team youngsters in their ranks, Abahani skipper Mushfiqur Rahim often had to pull his side out of vulnerable situations in the tournament. Mushfiqur, who has played a crucial role with the bat in the middle order for his team's successes, played three unbeaten match-winning knocks in five games, including a fifty in the last game against Gazi Group.
Today, however, it was the young guns who took the charge. The duo of Naim and Afif gave Abahani a flying start, stitching together a 111-run opening stand, before the latter departed in the 13th over following a 42-ball 54, laced with three boundaries and four maximums.
Naim, who smashed four boundaries and as many sixes during his blistering 50-ball 70, kept on piling misery on Shinepukur bowlers before being caught off a Tanvir Islam delivery in the 18th over. Quick-fire cameos from two other national team players in Najmul Hossain Shanto (18 off 9) and Mohammad Saifuddin (14 off 10) eventually helped Abahani end with a commendable total.
Spinner Tanvir remained the most successful bowler for Shinepukur, picking up four of the five Abahani wickets that fell. The left-arm spinner ended with figures of four for four for 23 in his four overs.
In chase of a steep target, opener Tanzid Hasan Tamim lumbered to 29 off 35 Shinepukur batsmen struggled to keep up with the increasing required rate. Tohwid Hridoy struck 36 off 32 before departing to Mohammad Saifuddin and it was Mahidul Islam Ankon's quickfire 15-ball 31, energized with four sixes, that helped them on to 123 for five, before DL came in to play and saw them fall 24 runs short. Saifuddin was the pick of the bowlers for Abahani with three wickets for 12 runs in three overs.
In another match at BKSP's Ground 3, Mizanur Rahman's 61-ball 66 propelled Brothers Union to 134 for 5. In reply, Khelaghar Samaj Kallyan Samity 109 for 3 in 16.2 overs with Mehedi Hasan Miraz on a run-a-ball 40 and Farhad Hossain on 29-ball 36. Rain halted proceedings after the second delivery of the 17th over and Khelaghar won the game by 5 runs through DL method.