Prime Bank Cricket Club are the newly crowned Dhaka Premier League champions after beating Dhaka Abahani Limited in the competition's penultimate round of Super League matches.
The win ensured Prime Bank became champions for the first time in their history. The culmination of the 16 match season saw Prime Bank secure the championship with 26 points - two ahead of Prime Doleshwar.
The run up to the final round of matches had guaranteed that a new team would be installed as champions. Khaled Mahmud's Prime Bank were already in the driving seat, holding a slender two point lead over second placed Prime Doleshwar.
Prime Bank went into the cliffhanger of last round matches needing a clear victory over third placed Dhaka Abahani Limited to become champions. A loss would have left Prime Doleshwar needing a win and achieving a higher run rate to overhaul Prime Bank in first place.
On a historic day Dhaka Abahani Limited were comprehensively beaten by nine wickets at the national Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium in Mirpur. It was a must win game as Prime Doleshwar also beat Dhaka Mohammedan by three wickets at the BKSP ground in Savar.
Prime Bank won convincingly largely due to a 155 run opening partnership between Soumya Sarkar and Saikat Ali. Sarwar, who is in the national World Cup squad bound for Australia top scored with 97, with Ali adding 55. Abahani's Nasir Ali had earlier top scored with 55.
Prime Bank were in determined mood and in 27.3 overs they easily reached 163 runs to see off their opponents. Man of the match Sarker was not in a charitable mood, striking seven fours, seven sixes and taking two crucial wickets.
Abahani were easily bowled out for 161 with Prime Bank fast bowler Forhad Reza taking four wickets for 17 runs whilst Soumya Sarker and Enamul Haque Jr. took two wickets each.
Prime Bank captain Mahmudullah Riyad was jubilant: "I am so proud of our achievement today. We have dug deep and displayed great consistency and this has resulted in a historic first triumph for Prime Bank."
Enamul Haque Jr trained in London for pre season and last summer he played in and won the Essex County Cricket League with Barking & Dagenham based Scintilla Cricket Club. It was the perfect pre season training for the Bangladeshi star.
He said: "Its been an amazing day for the team and everyone involved. We have operated with unity, solidarity and great commitment. The hard work has paid off and we are now champions. It's still sinking in for me and the rest of the boys."
Grit and determination
Manager and ex-Bangladesh national skipper Khaled Mahmud Sujon added: "The boys have displayed grit, determination and tenacity throughout. The level of play from my team, coupled with their bonding has been a delight to watch.
"Our mental strength was key going into the last game. We could have wilted under the pressure and let it all slip away. My team have shown great resolve throughout and their becoming champions is a phenomenal victory for Bangladeshi cricket."
In the other championship decider Prime Doleshwar's Rony Talukdar (63) and Mehedi Maruf (58) shared an opening 117 runs as their team reached 223-7 in 48.5 overs. Their opponents MSC were restricted to 220-9 at the BKSP.
Abahani Limited pipped Kalabagan Cricket Academy to third spot due to having a better run rate from 16 matches.
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