Investment bears fruit

June 9, 2012

A confident Victoria Sporting Club turned up for their league deciding last round match against Old DOHS with commemorative T-shirts. In the end, there was no potential banana skin as the favourites clinched their title with a two-wicket victory at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday.
It was not easy though as Victoria captain Shakib Al Hasan was atypically nervous in the last over when his side needed only one run from the last six balls as Muktar Ali was caught and bowled by Nahidul Islam in the very first ball which was followed by two dot balls. But the Victoria camp erupted into joy after the Indian Iqbal Abdulla managed the winning run from the fourth ball.
“I was little bit nervous in the last over especially because we were already wearing the special T-shirts,” said Shakib with a wry smile.
It was a most satisfying day for the Victoria not only because their backers realized a fruitful investment but because of all the controversies surrounding their Pakistan recruit Mohammad Yousuf’s registration, which saw the league suspended for two months.
The happiest man was Shakib, the world’s number one all-rounder who was the centre of attraction after the match although he did not really contribute significantly to the win. Yet, it was another feather on the successful cap of the 25-year old Magura-lad as his dream of winning the most coveted league title was fulfilled yesterday under his own leadership.
“I’m happy because I was desperately looking to achieve this feat. It is totally a different feeling from the IPL success because you can’t compare these two competitions,” said an excited Shakib adding that he dedicated the win to Lutfur Rahman Badal, the chairman of the club’s governing body.
“Today’s victory gave us a clear indication that our cricket is gradually improving because the little known players played a big role in the match. If you ask me to pick up one player than I must say it’s Saikat Ali (71 runs) who was the real star in the match. Saikat batted brilliantly,” he added.
Another star player Tamim Iqbal, who gave Victoria a perfect start by making 57 runs, echoed his captain’s sentiment and gave credit to Saikat and Sabbir Rahman for enabling Victoria to chase down the 239-run target successfully.
“Victoria’s success today showed that our local players have got the quality to bring success. We made the team with a target to become champions and finally we are successful. We all are very much excited because a lot of things have happened during the league,” said Tamim.
“You know in yesterday’s (Thursday) team meeting I predicted that Saikat will be the best player in the match but I must also thank Sabbir. Both the young players played brilliantly to take the team into the safety,” the dashing left-hander added.
Understandably there was a somber mood in the Old DOHS tent as they failed to keep their momentum into the last two matches which dashed their hope to clinch the title for the third occasion. Coach Khaled Mahmud, who guided the mediocre team to maintain top spot in the points table till the last round, blamed the poor bowling and fielding behind the defeat and he also criticised the poor captaincy of Faisal Hossain.
“It was proved that the 238-run total was defendable but we had a very poor bowling and fielding performance. What I felt is that the boys failed to perform under pressure. We gave too many extra runs and missed a few good run out chances. Anyways, I must thank my boys for their impressive performance in the league,” said Mahmud
“I think Victoria deserved the title as they are the best team in the competition,” he added.
The former national skipper once again blamed the stop-start league for his team losing the momentum.
The board might finally be relieved after the finish of the league but it should be noted that it took a record six months to complete the domestic competition.

-With The Daily Star input

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