14, 1, 2, 17 and 0 were Soumya Sarkar scores in a five-innings stretch in the Dhaka Premier League for Abahani and questions started to arise about the poor form of the elegant left-hander, who was named in the Bangladesh World Cup squad recently.
The 26-year-old however came back with a vengeance with a blistering, match-winning hundred in a crucial encounter against Legends of Rupganj, but still concerns were there about whether Soumya could remain consistent in the final and title-deciding game against Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club yesterday.
And the cricketer from Satkhira silenced all his critics by striking not just another hundred while chasing a huge target of 318 runs at the BKSP-3 ground, but Soumya also went on to register the maiden List A double hundred by a Bangladeshi to clinch the title for Abahani with a nine-wicket win.
Soumya, who finished on an unbeaten 208 off 158 balls, made and broke a few other records. The left-hander, who previously jointly held the record for the most sixes in a List A innings by a Bangladeshi with 11 sixes alongside Bangladesh ODI skipper Mahsrafe Bin Mortaza and Saif Hasan, yesterday broke his own record by striking 16 sixes alongside 14 fours.
Along with Jahurul Islam, who also struck a hundred, Soumya added 312 runs for the opening wicket -- also a record partnership for any wicket in Bangladesh List A cricket.
Soumya had not thought of scoring a double until he reached 190, and that is when the nervous yet stylish batsman told himself to not let go of the opportunity.
“I hadn’t thought about the double ton until I reached 190, but later I realised that I should not let go of the opportunity at any cost. I was a bit nervous as if there was an extra, Omi [Jahurul Islam] bhai would not be able to reach his hundred and neither would I make my double century. So we worked together and looked for singles,” Soumya told reporters yesterday.
When asked what actually changed for an off-form Soumya’s batting, the left-hander backed himself by saying nothing had changed apart from the mindset.
“There is no difference, I have kept batting in my own style. I was unable to score in the previous games, which I am able to do now. There was regret as I was getting dismissed on 30-40 while I also got out on scores of 1,2 and 0. Later I realised that it’s better to reach 30-40 first as it’s better than getting out on 1 or 2. When I reached 30-40 today [on Tuesday] I thought I should not get out on that score as I have to score a fifty and planned accordingly in the middle,” a relieved Soumya told reporters yesterday.