Sporting giants The Daily Star came out of their deep slumber to reclaim supremacy in the media cricketing plain with a seven-run win over RTV in a pulsating Pran-DRU Media Cricket Tournament final yesterday.
It was their second win of the day as they had outclassed Channel i by five wickets in the semifinal of the six-a-side, six-overs-per side tournament on the artificial turf at the Maulana Bhashani National Stadium
The see-saw final featured professional batsmanship and inelegant bowling, and also saw an overflow of emotion over an umpiring decision until a magnificent catch stole the show. The catch, which was made by an ever-energetic Rafiul Islam and would be the envy of even a professional cricketer, irrevocably sealed The Daily Star’s triumphant return to the fore after a decade.
In chase of Star’s impressive 104 in six overs, RTV’s prolific opener Shariat threatened to take the game away with a blistering 63, reducing the equation to 34 runs from 12 deliveries.
The Daily Star brought on fiery pacer Wasim Bin Habib, who was in premature retirement before being coaxed back by persevering manager Helemul Alam Biplob. Shariat drove Wasim high towards mid-on. Rafi, stationed at the long-on boundary, made a perfect run before lunging full length to complete a poem of a catch.
It was divine justice perhaps as Shariat, regarded as RTV’s one-man army, won a massive reprieve when, in his 20s, he lobbed the ball into the air, leaving Fazlur Rahman to complete a simple catch mid-pitch when the batsman apparently shoved the bowler with his elbow. This led to massive protests from The Daily Star and the match was momentarily halted before umpires decided to deduct five runs from RTV as penalty. The batsman should however have been ruled out because of obstruction.
While the protest may have cost Star the fair-play trophy, they had done enough to regroup and regain composure.
Earlier, The Daily Star batting meant business, which was fitting as skipper Fazlur is a key member of the business reporting team. Fazlur provided the platform with a sumptuous 63, which also won him the player-of-the-match award ahead of what could have been the people’s choice, Rafi, for his magnificent catch.
Mohiuddin Alamgir Jewel, who defied the pain of a twisted ankle, scored three and accompanied another business reporter, Muhammad Zahidul Islam Sajal, who scored a vital 17 and hit the last ball of the innings for six. Despite an injury, Tuhin Shubhra Adhikary fielded outstandingly.