Skipper Forhad Reza's superb all-round performance, which started with him scoring Bangladesh's fastest List A fifty, guided Prime Doelshwar Sporting Club to a scintillating one-run win in the last over against Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club in the Dhaka Premier League at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium (SBNS) in Mirpur yesterday.
Abahani Limited and Legends of Rupganj continued their dominance in the league and qualified as the first two teams for the Super League stage after beating Khelaghar Samaj Kallyan Samity and Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan (BKSP) respectively in the other fixtures of the day.
The force of Sunday night's storm in the capital blew the covers off the square inside SBNS and exposed the pitches and outfield to the elements, resulting in yesterday's match being reduced to a 26-overs-a-side affair.
It was an exciting game that went down to the wire. Sheikh Jamal needed 11 runs off the last over and Forhad, who dismissed a well-set Tanbir Hayder and conceded just four runs in the first four balls of the over.
Last man Khaled Ahmed struck a four when six were needed off the last ball from as Doleshwar registered a nail-biting win. After being asked to bat Doleshwar openers Imtiaz Uzzaman and Saif Hasan added a fireworks-filled 97-run opening stand in just 12.3 overs before the latter was dismissed for 36. Imran, after scoring a team-high 75 off 54 balls with six fours and four sixes, also departed while Pakistani recruit Saad Nasir added a quick 51 off 36 balls.
It was Forhad who mounted the late assault as he reached his fifty off just 18 balls -- the fastest List A half-century, surpassing Nazmul Hossain's 19-ball fifty back in 2007 -- and was eventually dismissed for 56 off 20.
Sheikh Jamal fought till the end, riding on Ziaur Rahman's 21-ball 46 and Indian recruit Anustup Majumdar's 44. Skipper Nurul Hasan also kept hopes alive with a quickfire 37 off 20 deliveries.
At the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah, Mominul Haque missed out on his hundred by just seven runs as Rupganj registered a comfortable five-wicket win over BKSP.
Chasing a modest target of 182, Mominul provided the platform before being dismissed on 93 off 112 balls, which featured eight fours and two sixes, while skipper Naeem Islam added 31 as Rupganj reached the target with five overs to spare.
Earlier, BKSP struggled through the innings after being asked to bat. Shamim Hossain's 51 was the top score for the batting side. Indian pacer Rishi Dhawan bagged five wickets as Rupganj restricted the opponents to 181 for nine in 50 overs.
Khelaghar were unable to put Abahani under any sort of pressure after bundling out the opposition for 262 as batting failure cost the newcomers, who were eventually all out for just 130 runs to fall to a punishing 132-run win at the BKSP-4 ground in Savar.
Left-arm spinner Sunzamul Islam bagged four while Nazmul Islam and Mehedi Hasan Miraz took two wickets each during Khelaghar's surrender.
Nazmul Hossain top-scored with sixty while Sabbir Rahman and Mehedi scored forties to post a challenging total. Right-arm seamer Robiul Haque was the pick of the bowlers for Khelaghar and bagged five wickets for 64 runs.
SCORES IN BRIEF
ABAHANI v KHELAGHAR SKS
Abahani: 262 all out in 48.4 overs (Nazmul 60, Sabbir 49, Mehedi 47; Robiul 5-64, Irfan 3-42)
Khelaghar: 130 all out in 32.5 overs (Mosaddek 36 not out, Shahriar 32; Sunzamul 4-36, Nazmul 2-14, Mehedi 2-18)
Result: Abahani won by 132 runs.
Player-of-the-match: Nazmul Hossain Shanto.
PRIME DOLESHWAR v SHEIKH JAMAL
Doleshwar: 239 for 6 in 26 overs (Imran 75, Forhad 56, Saad 51; Salauddin 3-40, Ziaur 1-30)
Sheikh Jamal: 238 for 9 in 26 overs (Ziaur 46, Majumdar 44, Nurul 37; Forhad 3-35, Jayed 3-48)
Result: Doleshwar won by 1 run.
Player-of-the-match: Forhad Reza.
BKSP v LEGENDS OF RUPGANJ
BKSP: 181 for 9 in 50 overs (Shamim 52, Prantik 38, Fahad 20; Dhawan 5-51, Muktar 2-29)
Rupganj: 182 for 5 in 45 overs (Mominul 93, Naeem 31, Mehedi 27; Kayium 2-28, Sumon 2-32)
Result: Rupganj won by 5 wickets.
Player-of-the-match: Rishi Dhawan.