Sylhet seal league title with victory over rivals Royal Tigers
- Credit: Archant
League cricket bid farewell to Victoria Park for another year with a one-off rescheduled match, as the unbeaten Royal Tigers took on local rivals Sylhet, with the Division Three title going to whichever team won the game.
The Tigers have been ruthless and impressive this season, scoring the highest team score and clocking four totals past 190.
They duly won the toss for a fifth time and, unsurprisingly, opted to bat. Their innings began with a blink-and-you-miss-it moment in the very first ball.
Opener Akibur Rahman nicked Monul Haque behind for a safe catch, only for the ball to slip to the ground from keeper Sumon JB’s gloves.
Sumon quickly made amends when, just five balls later, danger-man AZM Jonny nicked his opening delivery behind into Sumon’s grasp for a golden duck. It proved to be the start of a trend and was the first of four catches in the innings for Sumon JB.
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Opener Rahman recovered from his brush with an early bath to hit the top score of 35, but otherwise Sylhet ruthlessly ripped through the Tigers batsmen.
The star of the bowling attack was paceman Shakil Mahmud, who took a stunning 4-30, the fourth-best league figures this season, tearing down an off-stump and forcing three edges behind.
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Miniul Haque ended with 2-18 as the Royal Tigers collapsed to just 105 all out, four short of their reduced 15 overs.
Nonetheless, the Tigers remained confident, remembering that Sylhet had failed to chase down 80 in a friendly played between the two sides a few days before.
However, Sylhet’s Zakoan Chowdhury (15) and Kohokon Ali (29) had other ideas, putting on a resolute opening stand and easing Sylhet closer to victory.
Both men fell to Azharul Adnan as they went for the win but at this point success was beginning to look inevitable.
Skipper and keeper Sumon kept his focus, doing what was required with simple chips and glances, guiding his team to victory with an assured 17, aided in similar fashion by an unbeaten 23 from Ali Sami. Sumon fell with just six runs needed, bowled by Tigers skipper Muhibur Jony, but it was all too late to stop the Sylhet momentum.
An assured Aminul Haque Litu saw off three balls before a simple edge for four brought Sylhet to victory – and the Division title - in just 10 overs.