CCL comes alive
Anisul Hakim of GP scored magnificent 84 against BCB Development
After an uninspiring start on Tuesday, the first-ever Gra-meenPhone Corporate Cri-cket League sprang to life yesterday.The eventful second day marked a tied match between GrameenPhone and BCB Development Squad at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
At the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium Minhazul Abedin showed why he was considered the best batsman in domestic cricket with a terrific half-century to present MM Ispahani Limited a five-wicket win against Gazi Tank. National discard Moniruzza-man might have missed the chance of becoming the first player to hit a ton in the CCL by two runs but his effort was decisive to give CityCell a 12-run victory over Acme Labora-tories at the Fatullah Stadium.
But there was no match to the drama that unfolded at the 'big bowl' where the BCB Development squad, who were there only for exposure, almost upstaged a star-studded GrameenPhone side before tumbling in the final over. Needing only four runs from the last six deliveries to topple GrameenPhone's 224 for 8 in the stipulated 50 overs, the youths could only finish on a par with their opponents with two wickets in hand after Mazhar Uddin failed to sneak a single from the last two deliveries off left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak.
A nippy Razzak, one of the two uncapped players picked for the West Indies tour, not only held his nerve in the final over but also removed dangerman Nazmul Hossain. The number nine batsman struck a 21-ball 30 to take the Development squad within three runs of the target, but mistimed an attempted lofted drive in the second ball of the final over only to be caught at mid-off by Anwar Hossain. Mazhar remained stuck on 45.
Earlier, the GrameenPhone total was built around a fine 84 from Anisul Hakim and Tushar Imran's run-a-ball 41. But the star recruits of the country's largest cellular phone operators Shahriar Hossain (12), Alok Kapali (16) and captain Khaled Mahmud (20) failed to make any impact.
In a Group A match at Dhanmondi, Minhaz struck a captain's knock of 87 as Ispahani overhauled Gazi Tank's challenging total of 258 with more than three overs to spare. The 38-year-old right-hander wasted little time to fulfil the pledge of Ispahani boss Salman Ispahani, who set a target of winning one game in the competition, clobbering ten fours and two sixes in his 82-ball knock.
The former national captain launched the assault from where opener Abdul Ahad and one-down Mahbubul Karim had left. Ahad hammered 52 off 59 balls with eight fours and one six while Mahbubul hit a 71-ball 59 that featured four boundaries and three sixes. Earlier, Sheikh Nizamuddin scored a sparkling 94 not out for Gazi Tank. The number-three batsman anchored the innings but missed a deserved century. His 116-ball knock was punctuated by eight fours and a six.
While their cellular rivals were struggling at the BNS, CityCell showed no such jitters at the Fatullah Stadium. The last minute entrants baffled national captain Habibul Bashar-led Acme in their first outing.
The upset win by CityCell was fashioned by Moniruzzaman, whose fine 98 was the cornerstone of an impressive total of 257-6. The right-hander from Mymensingh hit six fours and two sixes in his 141-ball knock before being unfortunately run out. He put up 111 runs for the second wicket with opener Imran Ahmed, who chipped in with 47 off 75 balls.
Country's top batsman Bashar scored a 71-ball 50 and national opener Hannan Sarker made 75 off 86 balls for Acme. But contributions from others were few and far between as Acme could only manage 245 for eight before exhausting their share of 50 overs.
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