Semi heroics from Ziaur, Forhad
Seven sixes, four boundaries and an explosive unbeaten 29-ball 72 -- all-rounder Ziaur Rahman went absolutely berserk as he helped Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club register a five-wicket victory with 14 balls to spare against Shinepukur Cricket Club in the first semifinal of the inaugural edition of the Dhaka Premier League (DPL) T20 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
In the day's second semifinal under lights at the same venue, skipper Forhad Reza's all-round brilliance ensured Prime Doleshwar Sporting Club's six-wicket victory over Prime Bank Cricket Club to become the last team to book a place in the final of DPL T20.
In the day's first game, chasing a challenging 181 for seven posted by Shinepukur, when Ziaur walked in Sheikh Jamal were in a spot of bother, having lost five wickets for 65 runs in nine overs. The equation stood such that Sheikh Jamal required 117 runs in 66 balls -- a mammoth task indeed. However, Ziaur unleashed the beast right from the word go as he strung together an unbeaten 117-run sixth-wicket partnership -- just the required number of runs -- with skipper Nurul Hasan to see their side through very comfortably in just 17.4 overs. Nurul supported Ziaur well with his unbeaten 31-ball 43.
Ziaur thought that everything had worked out for him on the day, which helped him to play such an explosive innings.
"I don't often get the opportunity; today I got to bat for 10 overs but previously I would get two or three overs. But today everything was in my favour as well as my luck and that's why I could play a beautiful game," said Ziaur after the match.
Earlier, electing to bat, Shinepukur skipper Afif Hossain's 41-ball 65 and opener Sabbir Hossain's 32-ball 47 helped their side to a challenging total, only to see their efforts trumped by the magnificent Ziaur later on the day.
In the last game of the day, Doleshwar skipper Reza returned figures of five for 32 to restrict Prime Bank to 170 for nine before playing an unbeaten eight-ball 24-run cameo with the bat to help his side win a nail biter with two balls to spare.
SCORES IN BRIEF
SHINEPUKUR v SHEIKH JAMAL
SHINEPUKUR: 181 for 7 in 20 overs (Afif 65, Sabbir 47, Shuvagata 31; Salauddin 4-28, Shahidul 2-25)
SHEIKH JAMAL: 182 for 5 in 17.4 overs (Ziaur 72 not out, Nurul 43 not out, Fardeen 22; Sohrawordi 2-31, Tipu 1-23)
Result: Sheikh Jamal won by five wickets.
Player-of-the-match: Ziaur Rahman.
PRIME BANK v DOLESHWAR
PRIME BANK: 170 for 9 in 20 overs (Kapali 55, Zakir 52, Anamul 12; Forhad 5-32, Enamul 2-22)
Prime Doleshwar Sporting Club: 171 for four in 19.4 overs (Saif 61, Ayub 46, Forhad 24 not out; Razzak 1-19, Monir 1-34)
Result: Prime Doleshwar won by six wickets.
Player-of-the-match: Forhad Reza.