Wicketkeeper-batsman Salahuddin Pappu smashed a maiden century as Legends of Rupganj raced to their sixth win in the Dhaka Premier League with a 26-run victory over relegation-threatened Kalabagan Krira Chakra at the BKSP in Savar yesterday.
Pappu hammered a 96-ball 125 in Rupganj's massive 315 for five in 50 overs. Opening the innings, the unheralded batsman, playing only his 18th List A game, struck a dozen boundaries and eight sixes before being out in the 32nd over, leaving the score at 196 for two. Skipper Naeem Islam then hit an unbeaten 61 off 53 balls to take Rupganj to their first 300-plus score this season.
Kalabagan, in their chase, fought gamely before being bundled out for 288 in 49.5 overs, with disgraced former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful ploughing the sands with 64 off 67 balls. Rupganj's Indian recruit Parvez Rasool and Asif Hasan picked up three wickets each. It was Kalabagan's seventh defeat in nine games, keeping them at the bottom of the 12-team table with four points.
However, fellow strugglers Agrani Bank recorded a crucial three-wicket win against Brothers Union at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah going into the last two rounds of the first leg.
Sent in to bat, Brothers posted a challenging 289 for nine with Mizanur Rahman hitting a superb 102 and Junaid Siddiqui scoring 92. The pair added 200 runs in the opening stand, but they failed to keep up the momentum after Mizanur was out in the 36th over. Experienced pacer Shafiul Islam picked up four wickets for 48 runs.
Agrani Bank rode on four half centuries to race to 292 for seven in 49.1 overs. The highlight of the chase was a 107-run fifth-wicket stand between Rishi Dhawan (70 off 59 balls) and Jahid Javed (55) after opener Azmir Ahmed (65) and Salman Hossain (63) gave them a sound start. It was Agrani Bank's third win from nine games.
At the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Khelaghar Samaj Kalyan Samity pulled off a six-wicket win against Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club.
Asked to bat first, Sheikh Jamal were bundled out for 167 in 48 overs by some controlled bowling from Tanvir Islam (4 for 30) and Anjum Ahmed, who picked up three wickets for 18 runs in his eight miserly overs. Leg-spinning all-rounder Tanbir Hayder hit 52 for Sheikh Jamal.
Khelaghar raced to 168 for four in 40 overs with their Indian recruit Ashok Menaira hitting an unbeaten 58.
With this win, Khelaghar brightened their chances of a berth in the six-team Super League with 10 points from nine games, two points more than Sheikh Jamal.
SCORES IN BRIEF