Emon’s fastest century pips Rajshahi in high-scoring battle

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Sports desk, Dec 08: Young opener Parvez Hossain Emon trumped Nazmul Hossain Shanto’s six-laden century by hitting a fastest century by a Bangladeshi batsman as Fortune Barishal stayed alive in the Bangabandhu T20 Cup, securing an eight-wicket win over Minister Group in a high-scoring match at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.

Shanto hammered a 54 ball-109, with 11 sixes and four fours to help Rajshahi rack up a gigantic 220-7 but Barishal, who are at the knife-edge of being eliminated from the playoffs.

But little did anyone sense it would be knocked off with such each. Parvez Hossain Emon, the member of Bangladesh Under-19 World Cup winning team, in fact made it simply a cake-walk, by smashing a 42 ball-100 not out as Barishal gunned down the total effortlessly with 11 balls to spare.

Emon struck a boundary through cover region to bring up the century, which also sealed the deal at the same time.

Emon struck nine fours and seven sixes in his maiden century that was the fastest century by a Bangladeshi batsman by a far distance. He in fact broke the record of his captain Tamim Iqbal’s 50-ball-century, keeping him as witness. Earlier in the innings, opposition captain Shanto came close to break it but failed to do so.

The defeat was Rajshahi’s five in a row after winning the first two matches. Barishal’s second victory though couldn’t lift them from the bottom place due to their poor run rate than Rajshahi, they at least could keep them alive in the tournament.

Barishal started exactly the way they should in pursuit of big chase with Saif Hassan and Tamim Iqbal scoring runs at 10 per over initially. Saif was dismissed for 15 ball-27 but young Parvez Hossain Emon started off from where Saif ended.

Emon was more aggressive than his captain Tamim Iqbal as he took Rajshahi bowlers in disdain to send the Barishal fans into delirium.

He and Tamim Iqbal stitched a 117 runs partnership off 53 balls to set the platform of gunning down the total with ease.

After hitting 53 off 37 with five fours and one six, Tamim was trapped run out but Emon continued his carnage and evened sailed the side home without any fuss. Afif was not out on 16 ball-26 after hitting three fours.

Captain Nazmul Hossain Shanto struck a monstrous century earlier gave Rajshahi a big total after they were sent to bat first.

Shanto brought up his century for just 52 balls, which was before the Fortune Barishal’s innings was third fastest century. But after Emon’s fastest century, it turned out to be fourth fastest.

He was dismissed for 109 off 54, smashing four fours and 11 sixes. He equaled Tamim Iqbal’s record of hitting most sixes by a Bangladeshi batsman in T20 cricket.

Alongside Shanto, youngster Anisul Islam Emon also dazzled, hammering a 39 ball-69, smacking seven fours and three sixes.

Shanto and Emon shared 131-run partnership for the opening stand, the highest and only third 100 plus partnership in this tournament.

After Sumon Khan removed Anisul Emon with a return catch, no one could stand tall but Shanto continued his carnage to help the side propel past tournament’s first 200 plus score.

However the match turned out to be more eventful when Kamrul Islam Rabbi finished with four wickets including a hat-trick in the last over to resist Rajshahi piling up more runs.

In doing so, Kamul Rabbi became the third Bangladeshi bowler to achieve T20 hattrick. Al-Amin Hossain alone slammed two while Alis Al Islam was the other Bangladeshi bowler to achieve hattrick feat.

Kamrul Rabbi finished with 4-49 while Sumon Khan grabbed 2-43.

Brief Score:

Minister Group Rajshahi 220-7 in 20 overs (Shanto 109, Anisul Emon 69, Rony Talukdar 18, Nurul Hasan Sohan 12; Kamrul Rabbi 4-49, Sumon Khan 2-43)

Fortune Barishal 221-2 in 18.1 overs (Parvez Emon 100 not out, Tamim Iqbal 53, Saif Hasan 27, Afif Hossain 26 not out; Saifuddin 1-40)

Result: Barishal wins by 8 wickets