The two-month long Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League season 2017-18 came to an end Thursday with Abahani Limited winning yet another crown to clinch their 19th title in the country’s premier domestic 50-over competition.
The title race was wide open right until the last day of the tournament as Abahani had to win their last match to ensure the championship. Lt. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club were also in the running for the title on the final day but a crushing win by Abahani ended all the possible equations.
Abahani were the title contender from the very beginning after forming a strong side. A small hiccup before the Super Six stage gave some hope to their opponents but in the end, the Sky Blues won big to seal the trophy.
Experienced campaigner Mashrafe bin Mortaza was in superb form throughout the competition and surprised everyone picking up 39 wickets in 16 innings at a brilliant average of 14.61. In the process, Mashrafe finished as the highest Bangladeshi wicket-taker in a List A season. The DPL usually gets batting-friendly wickets and this season was no different as 47 centuries were scored. In such circumstances, Mashrafe’s 39 wickets proves that the Bangladesh ODI captain still has plenty to offer as a player.
Abahani’s top-order batsmen Nazmul Hossain Shanto and Anamul Haque were also in blistering form as they finished first and second respectively in the highest run-scorers’ chart. Captain Nasir Hossain and wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Mithun also played crucial roles in the middle-order.
Sheikh Jamal were the last team to enter the Super Six phase but after securing their berth, they played well and managed four wins in as many attempts to become a title contender. But they lost their last game against surprise package Khelaghar Samaj Kalyan Samity.
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Abahani captain Nasir Hossain led from the front, scoring consistent runs Dhaka Tribune
Legends of Rupganj produced consistent performances till the last stage where they lost the plot and consequently, the title, to Abahani. Skipper Naeem Islam enjoyed yet another splendid season, scoring 720 runs in 15 innings at an average of 55.38.
Khelaghar, meanwhile, were indeed the surprise package of the tournament. The low-budget team produced some memorable wins against the big teams and earned their spot in the Super Six phase. They managed to win eight matches overall in 16 outings. Young batsmen in the form of Mahidul Islam Ankon (609 runs in 16 innings) and leg-spinner Tanvir Islam performed well throughout the tournament.
One of the powerhouses of Dhaka club cricket, Mohammedan Sporting Club Limited had a poor season by their high standards. The famous Black and Whites even failed to qualify for the Super Six phase. Mohammedan managed to win only five times in 11 games.
Bottom side Kalabagan Krira Chakra also had a horrible season as they were relegated to the First Division Cricket League after just two wins in their first 11 outings in the group stage. Captain Mohammad Ashraful struck five centuries in the season, a record, but failed to save the team from relegation as the club went down to the First Division even before the Relegation League got underway.
Newcomer Agrani Bank Cricket Club also got relegated from the Premier League despite having players like Abdur Razzak, Shahriar Nafees and Soumya Sarker, among others. Third-from-bottom Brothers Union saved their season by securing a nail-biting win in the last match of the Relegation League. Brothers survived the drop in some style, defeating Agrani Bank by scoring a boundary in the last ball of the game.
Overall, the DPL season was extremely competitive as, at one stage, around six or seven teams were battling against each other for two Super Six spots. But in the end, Abahani had the final laugh, securing yet another title in their long and glorious history.
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Abahani's Nazmul Hossain Shanto enjoyed a stellar DPL, finishing as the highest run-scorer Dhaka Tribune
Inns Runs HS Ave SR 100/50
(AL) 16 749 150* 57.61 97.52 4/2
(AL) 16 744 128 49.6 89.53 2/4
(LOR) 15 720 116* 55.38 87.37 1/6
(PDSC) 16 708 120* 47.2 73.44 2/3
(KKC) 13 665 127 66.5 74.13 5/1
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Abahani's Mashrafe bin Mortaza finished as the highest wicket-taker in what was an extremely successful DPL campaign for the Bangladesh ODI captain Dhaka Tribune
Inns Wkts BBI Ave ER SR
(AL) 16 39 6/44 14.61 4.42 19.8
(LOR) 16 29 4/23 22.65 4.47 30.3
(LOR) 16 29 4/26 26.55 5.16 30.8
(PDSC) 16 29 4/37 26.86 6.06 26.5
(MSC) 11 28 6/49 19.1 5.41 21.1
M W L T Pts NRR
(C) 16 12 4 0 24 0.935
16 10 6 0 20 0.355
16 10 6 0 20 0.158
16 8 7 1 17 0.027
16 8 8 0 16 -0.28
16 7 9 0 14 -0.405
11 5 5 1 11 -0.069
11 5 6 0 10 0.136
11 5 6 0 10 0.094
13 6 7 0 12 -0.159
(R)13 5 8 0 10 -0.244
(R) 13 2 11 0 4 -0.648
C = Champion
R = Relegated to First Division Cricket League