Vol. 5 Num 495 Sun. October 16, 2005  

Al Shahriar explodes at Khulna

Al Shahriar returned to his devastating best with a hurricane hundred as star-studded Beximco blew away newcomers Orion Group in one of the three GrameenPhone Corporate Cricket League matches held at different venues across the country yesterday.

The out-of-favour Shahriar smashed 147 off 119 balls to fashion a massive 229-run victory for fancied Beximco at the Khulna Divisional Stadium. It was also the first hundred in the Corporate League this year.

The exciting stroke-maker, who lost his national cap due to inconsistency with the bat, clobbered 15 fours and eight sixes to guide Beximco to 324, the highest total so far this year.

Orient, in their chase, were bundled out for 95 in 36.2 overs.

Another debutante Banglacat fared even badly at Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra where they were bowled out for 49 against Epyllion who ran away with a 166-run victory.

National all-rounder Manjarul Islam hammered his second successive half-century as Gazi Tank, who thrashed Bangla Cat by 125-run in the first match, continued their hundred per cent success with a 48-run victory against MM Ispahani.

The three winners are now jointly leading the 12-team table after two consecutive victories.

A cautious start by Rashedul Haque and former national opener Shahriar Hossain gave little indication of what was coming after Beximco captain Akram Khan won the toss and decided to bat.

The opening pair added 23 runs in 7 overs before Hossain departed for 14. Runs started to flow like anything when Al Shahriar joined Rashedul.

The stylish right-hander added 139 runs for the second wicket with Rashedul, who scored 68 off 105 balls that included seven boundaries.

National star Mohammad Ashraful also joined the run-feast with 34. But the talented right-hander played the role of second fiddle to a marauding Al-Shahriar.

Chasing the towering total, Orion Group were caught in the spinning web spread by two left-arm tweakers Abdur Razzak and super-sub Nadif Chowdhury who picked up three wickets each.

Epyllion rode on two half-centuries by Moniruzzaman and Sajjadul Hasan to score a modest 215.

National opener Shahriar Nafees was dismissed for duck in the second ball of the innings but the two half centurions laid the foundation putting 129 runs for the second wicket.

Moniruzzaman top scored with 89 off 121 balls that saw six fours and two sixes while opener Sajjadul added 50 off 108 balls.

Super-sub spinner Saju Datta and national paceman Shahadat Hossain then ran through the Bangla Cat batting with some hostile bowling. Rajib made the early damage picking up the first three wickets for 14 runs while Saju was the most successful bowler with 4-10.

After Aftab Ahmed's blistering half-century, his national teammate Manzarul Islam and young Mahmudullah Riyad scored fifties as Gazi Tank scored 243 all out in 49.5 overs after deciding to bat first.

Another national opener Nafees Iqbal also hit 81-ball 50 but it was not good enough for Ispahani to avoid a 48-run defeat as they were bundled out for 195 in 47.1 overs.

Dashing right-hander Aftab hit a 41-ball 59. His second consecutive fifty contained 12 savage hits across the rope. But a 117-run fifth wicket stand between Manjarul and Riyad helped Gazi Tank to set the challenging total.

Left-handed Manjarul, who hammered 82 against Banglacat in the opening match, top-scored with 63 off 94 balls with five fours and a six while Riyad contributed 51 off 85 deliveries that featured three fours.

Captain Khaled Mahmud smashed two sixes and a four to score 21-ball 31.

Left-arm spinner Monirul Islam was the most successful Gazi bowler picking up three wickets for 30 while Wasseluddin took two for 30.

DRESSING ROOM IN TOILET! Gazi Tank's Bangladesh international Aftab Ahmed changes inside the washroom of the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday. So bad is the situation of the changing room at this venue that the players have to do it here instead. PHOTO: Anisur Rahman