Following consecutive defeats in their last two league round matches, Abahani romped to a comprehensive 165-run win over Prime Doleshwar in the opening fixture of the Super League phase of the Dhaka Premier League, courtesy of a five-wicket haul by Mohammad Saifuddin, at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
In the day's other matches, Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club registered a six-wicket win over Prime Bank at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah while Legends of Rupganj continued their winning streak by defeating Mohammedan Sporting Club by 46 runs at BKSP-3 in Savar.
With Bangladesh's ICC Cricket World Cup squad set to be announced today, young all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin surely made a strong statement to the selectors as the medium-pacer put up his best bowling performance to help Abahani defend a modest 251 total.
Saifuddin removed Prime Doleshwar's top five batsmen during his fiery spell, leaving the side reeling on 34 for five inside 11 overs. Doleshwar were unable to recover from the early damage and eventually folded on 86 in 29.4 overs.
Saifuddin ended with brilliant figures of five for nine from his six overs, which included two maidens.
Earlier, after Abahani were sent to bat, Indian recruit Wasim Jaffer and Nazmul Hossain Shanto added 146 runs for the fourth wicket after struggling on 12 for three inside five overs.
Both Jaffer and Nazmul scored seventies while Mohammad Mithun added 41 to help the Sky Blues post a fighting total.
Right-arm pacer Abu Jayed was the pick of the bowlers for Doleshwar with three while Farhad Reza and Saif Hasan took two wickets each.
In Savar, table toppers Rupganj notched a comfortable 46-run win over Mohammedan. Sent in to bat, Rupganj posted an imposing 313 for four riding on skipper Naeem Islam's unbeaten run-a-ball 108 run knock laced with three sixes and four boundaries.
Mominul Haque scored 78 runs while Shahriar Nafees added 68 for Rupganj.
In reply, Mohammedan were unable to produce big partnerships and though opener Irfan Sukkur top scored with 73 while Raqibul Hasan added 58, the side were bundled out on 267 in 46.2 overs.
Meanwhile in Fatullah, Nasir Hossain's unbeaten century and Elias Sunny's all-round performance guided Sheikh Jamal to a six-wicket win over Prime Bank.
Taking the first guard, Prime Bank were all-out on 236, courtesy of left-arm spinner Sunny and leg spinner Tanbir Hayder, who bagged three wickets each. Ariful Haque's quick-fire 74 off just 51 balls at the death helped Prime Bank post a respectable total, where Rubel Mia added 66 runs.
However, Sheikh Jamal reached the target without much trouble following Nasir's unbeaten 110-ball 112, featuring 12 fours and three sixes, while Sunny laid the platform by opening the innings with 67 to help the Dhamondi-based outfit seal an easy win.