Najmul Hossain Shanto-led team made a flying start in the BCB President’s Cup winning the opening game by four wickets against Mahmudullah Riyad-led Mahmullah XI on Sunday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
Replying to the moderate total of 196 of Mahmudullah XI, they ended up on 197 for six in 41.1 over and won the game by four wickets riding on the fifties of Towhid Hridoy and Irfaan Shukkur.
Saif Hassan and Soumya Sarkar opened the inning for Najmul XI and posted only 27 runs before Saif was removed by the speedster Ebadot Hossain for 17 off 22 balls with four fours.
While to 65 from 53, Najmul XI lost three more wickets— Soumya (21 off 34 balls with two fours), Mushfqiur Rahim (1 off 8 balls) and Afif Hossain (4 off 5 balls). But the captain Najmul Hossain (28 off 29 balls with three fours and one six), Towhid (52 off 67 balls with two fours and two sixes) and Irfaan (56 not-out off 78 balls with six fours) kept the score afloat.
In the end, despite a good bowling display by Ebadot of taking 3 wickets conceding 46 runs in 9 overs, Najmul XI won the game in an easy manner.
Earlier, the captain of Najmul XI won the toss and sent Mahmudullah XI to bat first. But the openers of Mahmudullah XI— Liton Das and Naim Sheikh— proved that the wicket was too good for them.
Naim Sheikh fell prey to run-out by the legspinner Rishad Hossain’s extraordinary through scoring 9 runs off 11 balls with a four while Liton Das also failed to cope up with the wicket as he fell for 11 off 12 with two fours. Liton was haunted by Taskin Ahmed who had been impressed with the ball during the practice days.
Mominul Haque, who came to bat at number three, failed to anything on the board as he fell prey to Al Amin Hossain for a duck.
Losing some early wickets made the job tough for Imrul Kayes and Mahmudullah. The onus was on them to rescue the team from the cliff edge. They posted 73 runs in the fourth wicket stand.
Imrul contributed 40 runs off 50 balls with three fours and one six while Mahmudullah hit the only 50-plus score for his team. Eventually, Mahmudullah XI posted 196 runs in 47.2 overs. Beside Imrul and Mahmdullah, Sabbir Rahman (22), Nurul Hasan Shohan (14), Abu Hider Rony (14) and Rakibul Hasan (15) contributed well with the bat.
For Najmul XI, Taskin Ahmed, Al Amin Hossain and Mokidul Islam bagged two wickets each. Naeem Hasan took one wicket.
With this event, competitive cricket made a comeback to the field in Bangladesh. Before this, the last competitive game in Bangladesh was in March this year. The deadly outbreak of Covid-19 forced a stop to all the cricketing activities for more than six months.
This match was streamed live through BCB’s official Facebook page and YouTube channel. The remaining matches will also be accessible for the viewers around the globe through these.
Brief score: Mahmudullah XI 196/10 in 47.2 overs, Mahmudullah 51, Imrul 40, Sabbir 22, Rakibul 15, Abu Hider 14, Nurul Hasan 14; Taskin 2/37, Al Amin 2/40, Mukidul 2/44.