Mohammad Ashraful presented a glimpse of his glory days as the veteran player smashed an unbeaten fifty to help his side Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club register a six-wicket victory over Abahani Limited in an enthralling Super League contest in the ongoing Bangabandhu Dhaka Premier Division T20 League in Mirpur today.
The win for Sheikh Jamal, who are already out of the title race, made things a bit tricky for contenders Abahani, who dropped down to second in the standings below Prime Bank with 22 points from 15 games. Prime Bank, currently top of the league, also have 22 points but played a game less than the Sky Blues.
Abahani piled up a score of 173 for seven, riding on Mohammad Naim's quick-fire 28-ball 42 and Liton Das' blistering 70. However, their efforts went in vain as Ashraful batted through the innings, smashing an unbeaten 48-ball 72 as Sheikh Jamal romped to the target with nine balls to spare.
Chasing a steep target, Sheikh Jamal lost opener Shykat Ali and Imrul Kayes after adding just 12 on the board in 2.2 overs. That, however, could not stop Ashraful from charging the Abahani bowlers.
The 36-year-old strung together a 69-run third-wicket stand with Nasir Hossain, who also did not shy away from playing his shots. Their partnership came to an end when Nasir fell prey to Aminul Islam in the 10th over after a 22-ball 36, laced with four boundaries and two sixes.
Ashraful, however, kept on playing fearlessly. The elegant right-hander struck a total of eight boundaries and two maximums during his match-winning knock. He was aptly supported by Sheikh Jamal skipper Nurul Hasan (36 off 22) and Ziaur Rahman (22 off nine) as the Dhanmondi-based club won the game convincingly.
Earlier, after electing to bat, opener Mohammad Naim gave a flying start to Abahani. The left-hander, who struck six boundaries, stitched a 68-run stand with Liton after Abahani lost opener Munim Shahriar early. Naim was dismissed in the eighth over but Liton continued and played a superb 70-run knock, featuring eight boundaries and one maximum, to ensure Abahani ended with a commendable score.