Prime Doleshwar Sporting Club was the last team to make it to the semifinal of the maiden Dhaka Premier League (DPL) T20, and they did it in dramatic fashion by defeating Gazi Group by three wickets and 12 balls to spare courtesy of Forhad Reza's heroics at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
Gazi could have afforded a defeat in the game and still made it to the semifinal as long as the margin would not hamper their net run rate too much. However, Doleshwar's Forhad put in an all-round performance -- returning economical figures of two wickets for 18 runs before a cameo of 36 runs off 15 balls -- to help his side defy all odds and ensure not only a win but also a better net run-rate than their opposition to see them through to the knockout stages.
After electing to bat, Doleshwar opener Mahedi Hasan provided a flying start with a 24-ball 39 before being dismissed by Mohammad Arafat. Skipper Shamshur Rahman and Touhid Tareq added 36 and 26 runs respectively in the middle to help their side post 145 for six.
In the chase, the equation stood such that if Doleshwar were to qualify, they would have to chase down the target with at least 11 balls in hand to achieve a higher net run-rate than their opponents.
Doleshwar started off rather shakily as they lost opener Arafat in the very first over of the game. And despite Farhad Hossain's 32 runs off 25 balls at the top, there were no other notable contributions in the middle as Doleshwar were struggling on 73 for five. It was then the Forhad show as he built a 51-run sixth-wicket partnership with Shykat Ali before being dismissed with the end in sight. Shykat remained unbeaten on 28 and helped his side over the winning line with 12 balls to spare -- just a ball in hand more than required.