Barisal Bulls versus Rajshahi Kings
‘Cometh the moment, cometh the man’. Sabbir Rahman was Rajshahi’s hero for the night at the BPL 2016, but it didn’t end as Rajshahi’s night. The match commenced with some scintillating batting by Mushfiqur Rahim and Shahriar Nafees. They were effortlessly overshadowed by Rahman’s carnage, but it was Rahim’s Barisal Bulls, who came out trumps in a heart-racing thriller.
Barisal, after losing the toss, was sent in to bat by Darren Sammy. They lost Dilshan Munaweera to Farhaz Reza in the 1st over. The 2nd wicket didn’t take time coming as Reza added to his wickets column by picking up Dawid Malan through a feather to the keeper.
The power-play clearly belonged to Rajshahi as Barisal only managed 28 runs for the loss of their opening pair. The onus was on Nafees and Rahim to build a partnership and they played cautiously bringing up their 50 run stand in just 41 balls.
After 10 overs, Barisal somewhat resurrected the poor start, posting 62/2. From the 10th to 15th over, they doubled their score to 122/2. Rahim and Nafees threw the kitchen sink at everything and brought up the first 100 run partnership of this season’s BPL in just 66 balls.
Nafees perished for 63, but Rahim went on to make 81 not out. A late flourish from Thisara Perera ensured that Barisal posted a mammoth total of 192.
Chasing 193 was going to be a tall ask. The pressure showed from the second ball itself when Raqibul Hasan spooned a dolly of a catch to the cover region off the bowling of Monir Hossain.
Sabbir Rahman meanwhile, played some delightful strokes blended with ferocity. Along with Mominul Haque, Rahman was getting the Kings back on track, but Mominul skied a mistimed pull shot to mid-on. Things turned from bad to worse as Umar Akmal bit the dust in the next ball itself, trapped dead in front of the stumps off the bowling of Al-Amin.
As a result, Barisal Bulls edged out the Rajshahi Kings in the power-plays. Rajshahi Kings went at a rate of 8 rpo to notch up 49 runs, but lost 3 wickets in the process. Sabbir carried on his rampaging batting as he compiled 50 from just 27 balls.
At the end of the 10 overs, Rajshahi climbed to 92/3. With 101 runs to get off the last 10 overs, the match was well and truly on the radar of the Kings.
However, against the run of play, left arm pacer Abu Hider Rony snapped up Samit Patel through a healthy edge to the wicket-keeper. Sabbir was joined by Darren Sammy with the Kings requiring 76 off the last 45 balls.
Sabbir then reached 99 with two gigantic sixes in the V in the front. It was in the 2nd ball of the 15th over, when Sabbir Rahman nudged the ball onto the leg side, accomplishing the 1st century of this season’s BPL and therefore becoming the 3rd Bangladeshi to do so in all editions of the BPL. He also broke Chris Gayle’s record of highest score in the BPL.
With 43 runs required in the last 30 balls, the match was poised in favour of the Kings. Al Amin dropped a sitter that costed 108 runs, but eventually picked up Sabbir’s wicket in the 16th over. The wicket presented the Bulls with a sniff of an opportunity.
With 10 runs required off the last 8 balls, Rayad Emrit castled Sammy to inject further exhilaration in the match. Barisal had 9 runs to defend in the final over and Thisara Perera was given the responsibility to do a ‘Mahmudullah’. He didn’t pick up a wicket, but shouldered the Bulls to a scintillating 4 run victory.
Man of the Match: Sabbir Rahman
|Mushfiqur Rahim||81*(52)||Farha Reza||2/22|
|Shahriar Nafees||63(44)||Darren Sammy||1/36|
|Thissara Perera||24(11)||Kesrick Williams||0/37|
|Total: 192/4 (20 overs)|
|Sabbir Rahman||122(61)||Al Amin Hossain||3/35|
|Darren Sammy||27*(19)||Rayad Emrit||1/34|
|Samit Patel||15(15)||Abu Hider Rony||1/29|
|Total: 188/6 (20 overs)|
Barisal Bulls beat Rajshahi Kings by 4 wickets
Comilla Victorians versus Khulna Titans
The match was scripted for a tight finish even at the half-way stage of Comillas innings. But such was the hegemony of the Khulna bowlers that it turned out to be one-sided in favour of the Titans as they cantered to a 13 run victory against the defending champions, Comilla Victorians.
Comilla decided to field after winning the toss. Andre Fletcher and Hasanuzzaman got Khulna off to a flier muscling 7 boundaries in the first 5 overs. Experienced Sohail Tanvir and Mahrafe Mortaza went for plenty in the power-play giving away 59 runs. Andre Fletcher’s wicket was the only moment to cheer for the Victorians.
The next four overs were more about vociferous appealing, mostly from Rashid Khan. He planted doubts in the batsman’s mind through some immaculate piece of leg spin. At the half-way mark, Khuna was cruising at 83/1, though they didn’t look comfortable against spin.
The bowlers tied the batsman down and it attributed to the wicket of Suvagata Hom. Mashrafe dismissed the dangerous looking batsman by pulling his length back to an attempted pull-shot by the batsman.
Meanwhile, Hasanuzzaman was staying put at the crease, mixing caution with aggression. Nonetheless, the Comilla Victorians skipper scalped Hasanuzzaman in the 13th over. The ball from Mortaza shaped a tad away and kissed the edge of the bat into the gloves of the keeper.
Majestic Mahmudullah and Nicholas Pooran were up against it with the Victorians not letting them off the hook. Mahmudullah, out of the blues, played a pre-meditated reverse sweep of Nazmul Hossain Shanto only to hold out at short third-man.
At 115/4 in 15 overs, the run-rate came down alarmingly from what it was at the end of the power-plays. Alok Kapali’s horror run continued as he served a sitter to Ashar Zaidi off the bowling of Nazmul. With half the side down, Khulna was left with a tumultuous task of finishing off the innings with a flourish.
Khulna never got the finishing kick as Rashid and Tanvir cramped them for room. The final five overs fetched a meager 29 runs for the loss of 4 wickets. The Titans, after getting off to a blistering start during the power-play, capsised during the next 14 overs, eking out 84 runs at 6.00 rpo. They ended up with 144/9 in their 20 overs.
Chasing 149, Litan Das was in a mood to slap everything out of the park, taking Suvagata Hom on. He went for one shot too many and held out to long-on in the final ball of the first over. Imrul Kayes also persisted with taking on the bowlers which eventually led to his downfall. Junaid Khan picked up his 100th T20 wicket in the process.
The power-play fetched 40 runs for the loss of 2 wickets. The responsibility was shifted to Marlon Samuels to guide Comilla close to the target. Shafiul Islam carried forward his superlative form from the last game as he ripped apart the stumps of Nazmul Hossain with a vicious in-swinger.
Samuels’ jittery technique in the beginning with the willow wasn’t doing any good to the required rate. He ambled his way to 9 runs in his initial 20 balls. Yet again, Khulna’s prowess with the ball was in the limelight as they restricted Comilla to 66/3 in the first 10 overs.
Zaidi and Samuels played some strokes to get closer to the target, but Zaidi fell prey to Mosharraf, trying to heave the ball over the cow-corner. Shafiul, in the next over, ripped apart the heart of the Victorians batting as he castled Marlon Samuels to leave them 5 down.
It was all dependent on the all-rounders to take Comilla over the winning line. They were left with a tricky 48 runs from the last 5 overs at a required rate of 9.60. Taking into account Khulna’s recent shows with the ball, Comilla had to play out of their skins.
Tanvir and Mortaza churned out singles, but boundaries were the need of the hour. In a desperate search for them, Mortaza gave his wicket to Kevon Cooper, leaving Comilla in tatters. It didn’t take time to re-ignite the Victorian’s hope as they plundered 16 runs of Mahmudullah in the 17th over.
From nowhere, Rashid Khan went berserk and hit a six and a four on consecutive balls to again set the ball rolling for the Victorians. A direct throw from Nicholas Pooran eventually got rid of Rashid.
By the time the match reached its final over, it was all over bar the shouting and Khulna registered their third win, defending a total. Also, for the fact that they didn’t need to go for Mahmudullah in the final over was something positive. They didn’t roll down the opposition but defeated them heavily enough to stamp their authority on the tournament.
Man of the Match: Shafiul Islam
|Andre Fletcher||23(17)||Mahrafe Mortaza||3/26|
|Suvagata Hom||16(18)||Nazmul Hossain Shanto||2/9|
|Total: 144/9 (20 overs)|
|Marlon Samuels||30(34)||Shafiul Islam||2/19|
|Imrul Kayes||21(16)||Junaid Khan||2/24|
|Sohail Tanvir||21*(21)||Kevon Cooper||1/16|
|Total: 131/9 (20 overs)|
Khulna Titans beat Comilla Victorians by 13 runs