The opening day of the 50-over Dhaka Premier League (DPL) yesterday saw three enthralling encounters at three different venues. Opener Jahurul Islam became the first centurion of this edition and his unbeaten 121 off 147 balls helped defending champions Abahani Limited to a total of 216 for nine. They defended comfortably, winning the game by 60 runs against BKSP at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
The other two games also offered plenty of exciting cricketing action for the fans. At the BKSP- 3, Legends of Rupganj edged Brothers Union by three wickets with just a ball to spare. Shahreer Nafees hit 59 to help Rupganj successfully chase the 220 for eight posted by Brothers. Meanwhile, at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah, Uttara Sporting Club registered a nine-run win over Sheikh Jamal in a game that saw three fifties.
After being sent in to bat, Abahani suffered a batting collapse and were left reeling at 53 for four in 15.2 overs. However, a 112-run fifth-wicket stand between Jahurul and all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin steadied the ship before the latter was removed off a Naushad Iqbal delivery in the 42nd over after having scored a patient 55 off 80 balls. Jahurul remained unbeaten till the end but a lack of support from the other end saw Abahani post a modest total.
Coming in to chase, BKSP could only manage 156 runs in 40.5 overs with a team-high unbeaten 38 coming from skipper Abdul Kaiyum. Abahani's Nazmul Islam was the pick of the bowlers, returning economical figures of three wickets for 30 runs from 10 overs.
In the other game, Brothers Union rode on Yasir Ali's brilliant 69-ball 65 and a 35-run knock from Sharifullah at the death to post a middling total. In chase, Rupganj had a promising start in the form of a 67-run opening partnership between Azmir Ahmed and Mohammad Naim in 11.2 overs before losing three wickets off the next five balls to slip into a precarious position. However, Nafees's brilliant fifty and a further 38 runs from Asif Ahmed helped Rupganj edge Brothers off the penultimate ball of the game.
Uttara openers -- Tanjid Hasan and Anisul Islam -- strung together a 113-run partnership after being sent in to bat first in Fatullah, before Tanjid fell for 64. However, an unbeaten 61 from Shojib Hossain helped Uttara post a challenging total. Despite skipper Nurul Hasan's run-a-ball 65 following the exchange, Sheikh Jamal fell short as they could only manage 240 for nine.
SCORES IN BRIEF
ABAHANI v BKSP
ABAHANI LIMITED: 216 for nine in 50 overs (Jahurul 121 not out, Saifuddin 55; Naser 3-39, Murad 2-54)
BANGLADESH KRIRA SHIKKHA PROTISTHAN: 156 all out in 40.5 overs (Kaiyum 38 not out, Ratul 37; Nazmul 3-30)
Result: Abahani won by 60 runs.
BROTHERS UNION v RUPGANJ
BROTHERS UNION: 220 for eight in 50 overs (Yasir 65, Sharifullah 35, Fazle 34; Muktar 2-38, Nabil 2-41)
LEGENDS OF RUPGANJ: 221 for seven in 49.5 overs (Nafees 59, Azmir 38, Asif 38; Jani 3-64, Sharif 2-35)
Result: Rupganj won by three wickets.
UTTARA SPORTING v SHEIKH JAMAL
UTTARA SPORTING: 249 for four in 50 overs (Tanjid 64, Sojib 61 not out; Tanbir 2-22)
SHEIKH JAMAL DHANMONDI CLUB: 240 for nine in 50 overs (Nurul 65, Nasir 48; Rashid 3-44, Payel 3-65)
Result: Uttara won by nine runs.