Abahani Ltd secured their third consecutive Dhaka Premier League title, beating Prime Bank Cricket Club by eight runs in the virtual title decider at Sher-E-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Saturday.
Two vital contributions with the bat from Najmul Hossain Shanto and Mosaddek Hossain followed by clinical bowling performance helped Abahahi lift their 21st DPL trophy. Veteran batter Alok Kapali gave Abahani a real scare but his 17-ball-34 wasn't enough.
Chasing 151, Prime Bank lost wickets in regular intervals and the lack of substantial partnerships hurt their progress. Opener Rubel Mia stayed at one end until the 17th over but got little support from the teammates. Eventually, he was cleaned up by Tanzim Hasan Sakib.
Alok Kapali, coming at eight, smashed a few lusty blows. Prime Bank required 16 off the final over. Shohidul Islam bowled three dot balls to gain upper hand. Kapali hit a six off the fourth delivery to intensify the drama but Shohidul held his nerves to defend 10 runs off the last two balls. Kapali managed only one of the last two balls and Abahani sealed the wickets.
Mohammad Saifuddin bagged four wickets conceding 36 runs. Left-arm pacer Mehedi Hasan Rana picked up a couple too.
Earlier, Abahani Ltd didn't have the best of starts, having lost as many as three wickets inside the powerplay. Opener Naim Sheikh played a nothing shot in the very first ball of the match and edged it to the keeper Mohammad Mithun.
In-form Munim Shahriar was dismissed by Rubel Hossain in the next over too. Liton Das was looking good before he miscued one-off Nahidul Islam and Prime Bank skipper Anamul Haque took a spectacular catch. Abahani were in trouble at 31 for three in the fifth over.
After the early wobble, Abahani were in the process of rebuilding the innings with Najmul Hossain Shanto and Mosaddek Hossain in the crease. These two put on an important 70 off 10.1 overs before Rubel Mia sent back Shanto. The southpaw scored 45 off 40 balls with the help of three fours and two maximums.
Afif Hossain smashed a couple of boundaries but couldn't carry on as he was dismissed by pacer Shoriful Islam in the 17th over. Rubel Hossain came back and cleaned up Mosaddek Hossain who made a run-a-ball 40.
Mohammad Saifuddin's late cameo of 21 off 13 balls helped Abahani to finish on a high at 150 for seven after 20 overs.
Rubel Hossain was the pick of the bowlers, bagging two scalps for 22 runs only.