Vol. 5 Num 568 Sat. December 31, 2005  

AKTEL Premier Division Cricket League 2005-6
DOHS win a thriller
Losing MSC fans attack umpires

Defending champions Old DOHS crossed a major hurdle in the Aktel Premier Division Cricket League with a nerve tingling three-run win over Mohammedan Sporting Club at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Victory in the seventh round game also maintained DOHS's all-win record as well as keeping them on top of the table with 14 points, which gives them a two-point cushion over second-placed Victoria Sporting Club.

Just when the whispering about lack of excitement in the Premier-ship became loud, the title aspirants at least brought back life and charm of pure one-day cricket to the most coveted tournament producing an absorbing finish.

Young batsman Shamsur Rahman looked all set to become a hero for a matured 68-run knock off 81 balls following Indian Sandeep Sharma's 103-ball 72 including eight boundaries on a difficult wicket in the second half as well as threatening to snap the holders' winning streak. But his efforts went down the drains as Mohammedan were bundled out for 244 in a last-ball thriller while chasing a challenging total of 247-9.

An after-match incident, however, would be good enough to confirm the tension as some angry Mohammedan supporters and officials not only hurled abusing languages but also assaulted umpires Akhteruddin Shahin and Nadir Shah on their way back to the dressing room.

They physically assaulted both the umpires and match referee Rafiqul Alam as they had mistakenly thought that their team were deprived of a six in a crucial moment after substitute Mahmudullah Riyad saved a Shamsur hit inside the long-off ropes.

The tension mounted in the last over when born-fighter Khaled Mahmud, who handled the team in absence of injured Akram Khan, came to bowl with Mohammedan needing 14 runs to win with two wickets in hand.

Although many took the game all but over for Mohammedan, wicketkeeper Khaled Mashud enlivened the tent clobbering a massive mid-wicket six in the very first ball of the dramatic last over.

Mahmud, who had bowled only one over earlier in the game, then got rid off his long-time national teammate in the fourth ball to kill Mohammedan hopes, thanks to Kenyan recruit Steve Tikolo who grasped a stunning catch destined to cross the extra-cover boundary and tie the scores.

Mahmud, who made an invaluable run-a-ball 34, then completed the job in style uprooting the stumps of last batsman Dollar Mahmud.

Tikolo was adjudged man of the match for his brilliant 93-ball 71, his fifth half-century in seven outings, while young Nazimuddin (43 off 75 balls) was the other notable scorer for the inserted DOHS.

Mohammedan sent pinch hitter Sabbir Ahmed as opener but the ploy did not work as he was bowled by Mohammad Shahajada in the very first ball of the innings.

But Hannan Sarker (47) helped Sandeep to recover before left-arm spinner Manzarul Islam broke the 97-run second wicket partnership by dismissing Hannan.

When every one expected captain Habibul Bashar to work on a good platform, the national skipper frustrated the fans by returning to the pavilion for a duck. Having faced just three deliveries, Bashar recklessly decided to go down the wicket against veteran spinner Enamul Haque and holed out to Golam Rahman at mid-on.

Sandeep and Shamsur, who shared 54 runs for the fourth wicket coming together at 102-3, failed to make most of early lives and see Mohammedan reach home.

Sandeep was dropped by Mahmud at covers on 13 off Shahajada while Shamsur survived twice after Manjarul floored him at short third man on 33 and Shahin missed an easy stumping two runs later.

Mohammedan finally failed to turn the tide their way losing the last five wickets for 50 runs.

Left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak was the most successful DOHS bowler with 3-55.

Dejected Mohammedan skipper Habibul Bashar (L) leaves the crease after being dismissed by DOHS left-arm spinner Enamul Haque (C) in their Premier League match at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium on Friday.. PHOTO: STAR