Published: May 6, 2009
Tamim Iqbal, the highest-paid player of the Port city Cricket League, made his money worth spending, winning his second successive man-of-the-match trophy to guide Chittagong Abahani to a five-wicket win over Top Sports at the MA Aziz Stadium on Tuesday.
In the other match of the day, Mushfiqur Rahim made a mess in the final over forcing Ispahani SC to concede a four-run defeat against Dada Warriors. Needing 128 for win, Ispahani would need to score 10 runs in the final over with Mushfique on strike, but the national wicketkeeper could manage only five against an unheralded Pakistani left-arm spinner Saeed Anwar Jr.
Chittagong Abahani had to win to stay in the semifinal race and things began brightly for them when paceman Syed Rasel struck twice in his first two overs to rattle Top Sports. But Roqibul Hassan led them to recovery taking the Nokahali outfit to 144-6 from 13-2 with his 52 off 48 balls that included four boundaries.
Sri Lankan cricketer Lokuarachchi scored 26 off 21 balls while Mahmudullah Riyad chipped in with 31 off 23 balls.
Tamim and Rabiul Islam had fetched 77 runs for Abahani in the opening stand in 10.3 overs before the national opener was dismissed by Lokuarachchi for 44 off 37 balls with six fours.
The innings was good enough for Tamim, who became the man of the match as Abahani built in on the foundation he gave to race to 146 for five with four balls to spare. Robiul made the other major contribution with 42 off 40.
Abahani, who now have three points from two matches, will face Mohammedan in their final group game and a win will see them through to the semifinal. Top Sports, who won the opening match, also can advance if they can beat Brothers Union in their final group match.
The victory of Dada against Ispahani threw the other game wide open as both of them have now joined Dhaka Sports at the top position with equal two points. Dhaka, who defeated Pirates of Chittagong the other day, however, played one game less than their rivals.
Ispahani were clear favourites to win the second game when Sri Lankan left-arm spinner Jeevan Mendis claimed 5-33 to restrict Dada to 127-9 in 20 overs. Shamsur Rahman, the man-in-form, smacked 40 off 34 balls and shared a 59-run opening stand with Fazle Rabbi (20 off 21 balls) in 7.5 overs.
Then came the heart-breaking final over when Mushfique managed a double in the first ball and had to give up the strike with a single in the next ball to number eight batsman Sajjadul Haque, who took a single to give Mushfique the strike again.
Instead of going for a big hit, Mushfique again took a single leaving the onus on Sajjadul, who was run out in the fifth ball but in the process managed to give Mushfique back the strike to face the last ball.
Mushfique needed to hit a six in the ball to see his team through or a boundary for a tie, but failed to do either. The ball struck in his pad and stopped at the popping crease much to the delight of Dada Sports.