Bangladesh team had a long tour of South Africa but the cricketers did not shy away from the field on return with the likes of Test captain Mominul Haque and a few others taking the field following their return yesterday. The 11th round of the ongoing Dhaka Premier League (DPL) began today with Abahani Limited playing Prime Bank at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur and while the country celebrated Pahela Baishakh, the cricketers still turned out for their respective clubs.
The first batch of cricketers had arrived yesterday morning and skipper Mominul was still feeling the effects of jet lag. One of the cricketers who returned from the South Africa tour said: “Yeah I turned up but if you think about it, that’s our job so that’s what we should do.” Former ODI skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza had remained behind after his practice session too in order to enjoy a bit of the Abahani-Prime Bank game.
While the atmosphere at the ground had a certain charm on Pahela Baishakh, an incident that created a little storm, stirred the atmosphere during the 43rd over of Abahani’s innings. Mosaddek Hossain, who struck 40 off 56, responded to Hanuma Vihari’s call and ran towards the striker’s end but Rubel Hossain’s throw caught him out of the crease. Mosaddek stood there for a while shocked as he was given out. In the stands, Abahani supporters hurled slurs at the umpires which led to the umpires stopping the game.
Iftekhar Ahmed Mithu, chairman of the BCB’s umpiring committee was notified about the issue. At that point Abahani officials requested match officials to carry on with the game and assured them that they will take care of the supporters. It was later learned that Mithu assured the umpires that he is taking care of everything.
The South Africa returnees were however in good spirits during the match. Mahmudul Hasan Joy and Liton Kumar Das, who both also returned from South Africa and played the game, scored 21 and 30 respectively for Abahani. Afif Hossain’s run-a-ball 30 and Shamim Hossain’s 27-ball 36 saw Abahani reach 271 for 7 after being sent in to bat. Joy, although an Abahani player, was seen getting some tips from Prime Bank coach Mohammad Salahuddin at the end of the game. Taijul Islam, who had scalped nine wickets in the second Test at Port Elizabeth was bowling to Mominul at the nets giving an essence of the hard work that goes in at the top level. The Bangladesh Test skipper however could not make his DPL return very memorable as he managed 15 for Prime Bank.
Apart from Shahadat Hossain Dipu’s 39 at the top, Mohammad Mithun’s 95-ball 103 was the lone hand that kept Prime Bank in the game for a long while. Mithun departed in the 48th over after being run out to a direct throw from Abahani skipper Mosaddek as the defending champions eventually clinched the match by 28 runs. In the other game at BKSP, Rupganj Tigers won by four wickets against Gazi Group.