|| CF Correspondent ||
Soumya Sarkar became the first Bangladeshi player to hit a double century in List A cricket, leading Abahani Limited retain the Dhaka Premier League (DPL) title in ruthless fashion as they crushed Shekh Jamal Dhanmoni Club by nine wickets, overhauling a target of 318 with incredible ease at BKSP-3 ground today.
In what turned out to be title deciding round of DPL, Sheikh Jamal racked up a gigantic 317-9 in 50 overs but Soumya made a mockery of it, guiding Abahani to the winning total of 319-1 in just 47.12 overs.
Soumya smashed an unbeaten 208 off 153, clobbering 14 fours and 16 sixes and befittingly finished off the match with a six over long-on region to complete a sheer annihilation on Jamal. His 16 sixes in a match in senior level cricket is also a Bangladeshi record.
Mohammedan’s Raqibul Hasan was the holder of Bangladesh’s highest individual innings with 190 against Abahani in 2017 DPL at the same venue before Soumya rewrote the record. It was also Soumya’s second DPL ton in a row, having blasted 79 ball-106 against Legends of Rupganj in the previous match to keep Abahani’s title hopes alive. These two centuries came at a moment when his form was criticised vehemently.
He and Jahurul Islam Omee who was out on exact 100, hitting his third century in the league, shared 312 runs in a record opening stand to make the contest an extremely one-sided affair.
It was Abahani’s 20th DPL title which retained their status as the most successful domestic cricket team in Bangladesh. Abahani indeed lifted the title thrice in the last four seasons. Since the DPL gets List A status six years back, Abahani clinched the highest three times also.
Electing to bat first, Sheikh Jamal rode on Tanbir Hyder’s 115 ball-132 to throw a stiff challenge to Abahani. Elias Sunny scored 45 while Mehrab Hossain added 44 for Jamal.
Mashrafe Bin Mortaza was the highest wicket-taker of Abahani with 4-56.
Starting the super league with four points adrift of Legends of Rupganj, Abahani won five matches in a row to ensure they would live up to the reputation of their hot favourite tag.
Rupganj on the other hand, lost two matches in this phase and squandered the chance to be champions.
Both Abahani and Rupganj came to play the last round match of Super League with 24 points at their disposal but the former has the massive run rate in their favour.
Abahani just needed a win to ensure the title irrespective of the Rupganj’s result against Prime Bank Cricket Club and they did in style. Meanwhile Rupganj also beat Prime Bank by 88 to take a sweet revenge of their group phase defeat but it went in vain.
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