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Plate glory for Gazi
Pakistani opener Yasir Hameed marked his first appearance in Dhaka cricket with a scintillating century as Gazi Tank clinched the Plate title of the GrameenPhone Corporate Cricket League with a four-wicket victory against MM Ispahani at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
The young right-hander, who arrived here on Wednesday along with left-handed opening partner Taufeeq Umar, cracked exactly 100 off 85 balls as Gazi Tank toppled a fighting Ispahani total of 245-9 with more than 12 overs to spare and with four wickets in hand.
The victory not only presented Gazi Tank the consolation trophy after they bowed out of the championship race but also exacted a sweet revenge against the first round tormentor.
Ispahani scored a five-wicket win against Gazi Tank when the two sides launched their campaign in the first-ever cricket league for corporate houses a month ago.
The talented cricketer, who cemented his place in the Pakistan team after making his debut against Bangladesh last year, entertained the smallish yet vociferous cricket fans with an exciting array of shots.
He struck 15 fours and a couple of sixes after compatriot Umar departed early without making any significant contribution. Man-of-the-match Yasir had earlier took two wickets to cap a resounding day on the field.
When Yasir departed Gazi Tank was strongly placed at 173-3 in 25.2 overs. But his innings would not have been meaningful had not local lad Niaz Morshed played an equally impressive 65-ball 66 and Sumon Barua played a came 32 off 27 balls.
Niaz put on a vital 121 runs for the third wicket with Yasir and added 46 for the fourth wicket with Barua before eventually got out, leaving his side 27 runs short of victory with plenty of overs to spare.
Niaz hammered four massive sixes and five fours in his explosive knock.
Earlier, Ispahani thrived on two half-centuries by Minhajul Abedin and Pakistani Rashed Hanif to post what promised to be a decent total.
Minhajul led his side from the front with a 79-ball 57 before he was run out in a terrible mixed up with Rashed. The experienced right-hander clubbed four boundaries.
Left-handed Rashed hit 51 off 63 balls that featured a quartet of fours and a six.
Number four batsman Rezaul Karim chipped in with a 82-ball 44 and contributed 65 runs with his captain Minhajul for the fourth wicket after Ispahani were reduced 3-44.