Mahmudullah’s boys get bragging rights

Mahmudullah XI clinched the hastily-arranged BCB President’s Cup on Sunday, outclassing surprise finalists the Najmul XI by seven wickets at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

Najmul XI were asked to bat first after losing the toss and posted a below par total of 173 runs riding on the wonderful innings of 75 runs off Irfaan Shukkur. In reply, Liton Das (68), and Imrul Kaeys (53) hit the fifties for Mahmudullah XI, and they won the title.

Mahmudullah XI ended up on 177 for three in 29.4 overs and won the game in a canter with seven wickets and more than 20 overs to spare. But this was an occasion where the bowlers deserve the credit for having done the hard work earlier, bowling the Najmul XI out for a paltry total of just 173, in 47.1 overs.

The wrecker in chief was 20-year-old Sumon Khan, who in partnership with the experienced Rubel rattled Najmul XI with the new ball, and ended up with 5/38 off his 10 overs. thanks to wonderful bowling by Sumon Khan who scalped five wickets conceding 38 runs in 10 overs.

Openers of Najmul XI— Saif Hassan and Soumya Sarkar— posted only 4 and 5 runs respectively. Rubel Hossain grabbed the first wicket removing Saif. Soumya, in the course of scoring just 5, already had to retire hurt once – although he did come back out to bat, only to be snared by a fired up Sumon.

Najmul Hossain Shanto (32) and Mushfiqur Rahim (12) tried to control the initial damage, but failed to come up with the bigger effort when Najmul XI were in dire straits.

Afif Hossain disappointed again as he failed to add anything to the board. He was hunted by Sumon as well. Towhid Hridoy, who had come up with some imperious displays earlier, scored 26 this time.

The rampant Irfaan Shukkur was the best batsman for Najmul XI posting 75 off 77 balls with eight fours and two sixes. He didn’t look like he was batting in the same match, at the same venue, or against the same opponents as his teammates, before Rubel came back in the death overs to bowl him out.

During his stay at the crease, Najmul XI added a total of 107 runs to their total, of which Irfaan contributed 75.

Eventually, Najmul XI tumbled for 173. To go with Sumon’s 5-for and Rubel’s brace, Ebadat, Mehidy and Mahmudullah grabbed a wicket apiece.

It was the first bit of ‘competitive’ cricket played in Bangladesh since the Coronavirus lockdowns. In that sense, it may have heralded a return of sorts for the game. Yet a triangular series between 3 different sets of the players in contention to represent the same team at international could hardly count as ‘competitive’ – especially when compared to the chance to compete in a proper 3-Test series against Sri Lanka that was missed, and the BCB President’s Cup had to replace.

Next up, BCB is planning to host a T20 league comprising five teams.

Brief score:

Najmul XI 173/10 in 47.1 overs, Irfaan 75, Najmul 32, Towhid 26, Mushfiqur 12; Sumon 5/38, Rubel 2/27

Mahmudullah XI 177/3 in 29.4 overs, Liton 68, Imrul 53*, Mahmudullah 23*; Nasum 2/48, Al Amin 1/32

Source: United News of Bangladesh