Vol. 4 Num 321 Sat. April 24, 2004  

GrameenPhone Corportate League
Bashundhara, GP brave rain

The Grameen Phone Corpo-rate Cricket League (CCL) was hit by rain yesterday but still two of the three scheduled games were decided.

Favourites Bashundhara Group registered their second consecutive victory after beating MM Ispahani Ltd by four wickets at the Bangabandhu National Stadium while title contenders Grameen-phone tasted their first win with a nine-wicket rout of BADC.

The match between Biman Bangladesh and Gazi Tank was abandoned at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium after the morning showers put an end to the day's proceedings with Biman on 71 for two in 17.1 overs.

The game will be replayed today at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium (FCS).

West Indies bound Tigers newcomer Faisal Hossain continued to impress with another responsible innings that helped Bashundhara recover from a scare to beat Ispahani.

The left-hander, who had guided his side to victory against BADC at the same venue in their first game, remained unbeaten (35 not out) for the second match running as Bashundhara chased a revised target of 113 with four wickets and 17 balls to spare.

Ispahani were 72 for four in 20.4 overs after electing to bat when rain forced the players off the field. When play resumed after three and a half hours, Mihazul Abedin's side were given another 5.2 overs to bat in what came down to a 26-over contest.

Minhaz walked to middle with Mahbubul Karim with only acceleration on their minds but Bashundhara's experienced left-arm spin duo of Enamul Haque and Saifullah Khan Jem frustrated Ispahani, who could only add 30 runs before being bundled out for 102 in 25.5 overs.

Veteran Enamul finished with excellent figures of 4-12 while Saifullah took 2-18.

Mahbubul was the only player to dominate. The one-down batsman blasted eight boundaries in a 44-ball 53.

The revised target was 112 according to the Duckworth/Lewis Method but Bashundhara's formidable batting line-up were struggling at 68-5 with Al-Shahriar (0), skipper Akram Khan (18) and Naimur Rahman (0) all back in the pavilion.

Faisal however, found a confident ally in young wicketkeeper Sagir Hossain Pavel and the two added 27 runs for the unbroken seventh wicket.

Faisal hit three boundaries including the winning stroke in his 44-ball stay. Pavel was not out on 14 off 19 balls.

Ispahani's former national pacer Saiful Islam claimed two wickets for 24 in six overs.

GrameenPhone, who were held to a surprise tie by BCB Development Squad in their opening encounter, completely outplayed BADC at the FCS.

BADC, a side made up of First Division and unheralded Premier League cricketers, elected to bat but ran into trouble against the experienced Grameen pace attack of Monjurul Islam, Anwar Hossain Munir and Khaled Mahmud.

BADC were reeling on 74 for five after 27 overs when rain apparently relieved them off further Grameen assault.

The match resumed after a four-hour delay and GrameenPhone were set a revised target of 92 in 25 overs under the Duckworth/Lewis Method.

Openers Anisul Hakim and Shahriar Hossain went along merrily as they put on 79 in 16 overs. Anisul was dismissed on 35 (two fours and a six in 43 balls). Test cap Shahriar remained not out on 46 from 59 deliveries as Grameen won with five overs remaining.

Bashundhara captain Akram Khan (L) and Ispahani skipper Minhazul Abedin (R) have a chat when rain stopped play during yesterday's GrameenPhone CCL fixture at the Bangabandhu National Stadium. PHOTO: STAR