BPL 2016: Caribbean Calypso at the BPL - Marlon Samuels stars in late resurgence for Comilla Victorians; Bravo and Russell keep Dhaka Dynamites on top of the table
Following yet another unbeaten innings in the Bangladesh Premier League, Marlon Samuels was named the Man of the Match for his match-winning 69* against the Khulna Titans at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
The West Indian, who has been twice awarded the Player of the Final in the T20 World Cup, continued his habit of finishing off targets for the third consecutive game. His scores in his last three innings read – 27*, 55* and 69* - all in successful chases.
The five-wicket win, which was the third on the trot for the Comilla Victorians, marked their late resurgence in the season and kept slim mathematical chances alive for a spot in the Playoffs.
Chasing 141 for victory, Victorians lost their opener Ahmed Shehzad early, for a second-ball duck. A steady 49 run partnership between Imrul Kayes and Samuels followed before the former perished to an ambitious loft towards long-on. Khalid Latif fell soon after but Samuels was joined by captain Mashrafe Mortaza, who had promoted himself up the order to take the attack to the opposition.
His stay was short but it served the purpose as he smoked 3 sixes in a cameo innings of 20. Another ambitious lofted stroke, this time from Nazmul Hossain Shanto, left the Victorians at 100/5 at the end of 15 overs, but Samuels and wicketkeeper-batsman Litton Das saw the team through without further hiccups.
Earlier in the day, Mortaza looked in good rhythm and was easily the pick of the bowlers. Though he did not take the new ball, he came on at the end of the Powerplay and deceived Abdul Mazid with a slower delivery to pick a wicket off his first ball. He then dismissed Hasanuzzaman and Nicholas Pooran and finished with figures of 3 for 16 from his four overs.
The new ball pair of Mohammad Sharif and Mohammad Saifuddin and the leggie Rashid Khan also picked a wicket each. For the Titans, skipper Mahmudullah played a lone hand, scoring an unbeaten 40.
Brief Scores: Khulna Titans – 141/6 (Mahmudullah 40* (38), Hasanuzzaman 29 (26); Mashrafe Mortaza 3/16 (4), Mohammad Sharif 1/27 (4), Mohammad Saifuddin 1/31 (4) ;)
Comilla Victorians – 142/5 (18.4) (Marlon Samuels 69* (57), Liton Das 24* (11); Benny Howell 2/25 (4), Mosharraf Hossain 1/21 (4))
Result: Comilla Victorians won by 5 wickets. Marlon Samuels was awarded the ‘Player of the Match’ for his unbeaten innings of 69.
Dhaka Dynamites triumphed by six wickets, ending a five-match winning streak of the Chittagong Vikings and ensuring themselves of a top of the table finish in the league phase of the BPL.
Sent to bat first, the Chittagong Vikings suffered collapses on either side of an 86 run 4th wicket partnership between Tamim Iqbal and Shoaib Malik, who were the only batsmen to register double-digit scores. Tamim – the highest run scorer in the tournament – continued his supreme form, slamming his third consecutive century in a week.
His 59-ball 74 was also his fifth fifty this season, becoming only the fourth to do so in the T20 league. The Vikings lost Chris Gayle and Anamul Haque early into their innings, but they recovered after the Powerplay. Shoaib Malik, who walked in at the dismissal of Jahurul Islam in the 8th over, played around Tamim to give much-needed stability to the innings.
Tamim played watchfully when wickets fell around him initially but launched into attack mode as soon as he found an able ally in Malik – he struck three sixes and six fours during the knock. On the lookout for big hits, both holed out to the fielders in the deep off successive deliveries, on either side of the 18th over. Mohammad Nabi followed them 4 balls later, out for a second-ball duck, and a moderate target of 135 was set. Dwayne Bravo was the pick of the bowlers, with figures of 3/27 off his 4 overs.
In reply, the Dhaka Dynamites lost Mehedi Maruf and Nasir Hossain in the Powerplay and Mosaddek Hossain a little later, but further trouble was evaded by the pair of Kumar Sangakkara and Alauddin Babu, who stitched together a 27-run partnership for the 4th wicket. Sangakkara was run out by a direct hit from Zakir Hasan, but Alauddin and Andre Russell put on a 52-run unbeaten partnership for the 5th wicket.
Russell sealed the chase with an unbeaten 18-ball 31 that included 3 sixes and finished the match with a powerful strike to the extra cover fence.
Brief Scores: Chittagong Vikings – 134/6 (Tamim Iqbal 74 (59), Shoaib Malik 33 (25); Dwayne Bravo 3/27 (4), Ronsford Beaton 2/30 (4), Andre Russell 1/23 (4) ;)
Dhaka Dynamites – 135/4 (18.2) (Kumar Sangakkara 35 (35), Alauddin Babu 33* (27), Andre Russell 31* (18); Imran Khan 1/27 (4), Shoaib Malik 1/23 (3), Mohammad Nabi 1/2 (2) ;)