Prime Bank Cricket Club captain Anamul Haque completed a hattrick of centuries in the Dhaka Premier League to set up a 16-run win over Abahani Limited, the defending champions' first defeat of the season, at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah yesterday.
Meanwhile, the last team that bore the brunt of Anamul's purple patch, Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club, won a last-ball thriller by two wickets against Mohammedan Sporting Club at the BKSP, with Enamul Haque striking a six off the last ball when five were needed to win. The day's other match between Legends of Rupganj and Gazi Group Cricketers was not as exciting, with the former acing what could have been a tricky chase -- thanks to opener Mehedi Maruf's unbeaten run-a-ball 137 and Jaker Ali's 107 not out -- at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur by eight wickets with 27 balls remaining.
It was Anamul's magnificent 128-ball 102 alongside Abhimanyu Easwaran's 85 runs from 96 balls, followed by all-rounder Ariful Haque's quickfire unbeaten 27-ball 51 that helped Prime Bank post a an above-par 302 for five. Anamul -- unaware that his achievement of scoring three successive tons in DPL was last matched by Mohammad Ashraful in the previous edition -- said he felt very good after having helped his team.
“There was a time when I used to think the game is all about hitting sixes and fours. But as I gained experience I realised that the game is also about singles. So I tried to improve in that regard,” said Anamul, who scored only 32 runs from boundaries (five fours and two sixes).
In chase of 303, despite valiant efforts from Wasim Jaffer (94 off 91), Najmul Hossain (73 off 82) and skipper Mosaddek Hossain (52 off 47), the star-studded Abahani -- without all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin, who is yet to feature after his back injury -- could not avoid their first defeat of the tournament, managing 286 all out in 48.5 overs.
At BKSP, Mohammedan posted a challenging 240 all out in 49.1 overs riding on opener Abdul Mazid's 52 and Chaturanga De Silva's 49. However, after opener Imtiaz Hossain's 102-ball 74, Sheikh Jamal could thank Enamul Haque (28 off 17) for holding his nerve and hitting Alauddin Babu for a maximum to seal the game.
In the other game, Rupganj restricted Gazi Group to 250 for nine before picking up an easy victory, with Mehedi and Jaker both scoring unbeaten centuries to help chase the total in 45.3 overs.