Soumya Sarkar was in blistering form as he hit a record number of sixes on his way to a double hundred as Abahani Limited retained the Dhaka Premier League (DPL) title, defeating Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club by nine wickets at Savar’s BKSP.
During his unbeaten 208 off 153 deliveries, he hit 16 sixes -- the most in an innings in Bangladesh’s List A cricket -- and 14 fours to put the Sheikh Jamal bowling to the sword. He broke records along the way and when the match ended he had by then notched the highest knock in Bangladesh's List A cricket -- the previous best was an innings of 190 runs by Raquibul Hasan against Mohammedan Sporting Club back in 2017 -- with his destructive double ton.
Along with opener Jahurul Islam, who stuck a 128-ball 100, Soumya propelled the chase with a magnificent 312-run opening stand during their chase of Sheikh Jamal’s 317 for nine. The partnership was also the highest for any wicket in Bangladesh's List A cricket.
Earlier, Sheikh Jamal had posted a big total on the board courtesy of Tanbir Hayder's 115-ball 132. Mashrafe Bin Mortaza was the pick of the Abahani bowlers with his figures of four for 56 in 10 overs.
Soumya had trouble converting good starts into big runs this season in the league but at the death end he hit form as he had struck a match-winning 79-ball 106 in the previous match against Legends of Rupganj.
Abahani finished level on points with Rupganj but clinched the title courtesy of a better net run-rate. Soumya Sarkar’s form had been a concern for selectors but his back-to-back hundreds in the league will surely give him the boost heading into the World Cup. Having retained the title, Abahani have now clinched the DPL 20 times in their history.