Dhaka Abahani Ltd clinched Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League (DPL) 2018-2019 title courtesy of Soumya Sarkar’s record-breaking unbeaten 208-run innings which gave Abahani their twentieth DPL title on Tuesday.
With Soumya’s blazing innings, Abahani topped Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club’s 317 runs for 9 wickets comfortably, cruising over by 9 wickets and getting there with 17 balls in hand.In the process, Soumya became the first Bangladesh batsman to score a double-century in a List A game.
Soumya struck 14 fours and 16 sixes in his 153-ball knock, mostly peppering the long-on, long-off and midwicket boundaries at the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan (BKSP) No 3 Ground, where he struck 106 runs in the previous game as well.
Chasing a big target in the List A game, Soumya and Jahurul Islam put up 312 for the first wicket, now a record for any wicket in the format in Bangladesh, to put their team within a stroke of victory.
Jahurul’s 100 off 128 balls included seven fours and three sixes, but he was largely a support act for Soumya, who finished the game with his seventh six off Taijul Islam. He also struck legspinner Minhajul Abedin Afridi for four sixes, Nasir Hossain and Elias Sunny for two each, and Mehrab Hossain for one.
Earlier, Lt Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club had posted a big total on the board courtesy of Tanbir Hayder’s 115-ball 132 runs. Mashrafe Mortaza was the pick of the Abahani bowlers with his figures of 4 wickets for 56 runs in 10 overs.
Soumya had trouble converting good starts into big runs this season in the league but at the death end he hit form as he had struck a match-winning 79-ball 106 in the previous match against Legends of Rupganj.Abahani finished level on points with Rupganj but clinched the title courtesy of a better net run-rate. Soumya Sarkar’s form had been a concern for selectors but his back-to-back hundreds in the league will surely give him the boost heading into the World Cup.
The win put Abahani on 26 points from 16 games, the same as Legends of Rupganj, who beat Prime Bank Cricket Club by 88 runs in their final game, which was played simultaneously. But Abahani’s superior net run-rate (0.866 to 0.517) helped them to the top of the table. Had Rupganj beaten Abahani in their previous game, they would have lifted the trophy for the first time.
In the other Super League encounter of the day, Prime Doleshwar Sporting Club beat Mohammedan Sporting Club by three runs to finish third on the table.
Uttara Sporting Club and BKSP have been demoted, while Brothers Union survived the playoffs. They will now play in the Dhaka First Division Cricket League, from which Old DOHS Sports club and Partex Sporting Club earned promotion to the DPL 2019-20 season.