Comilla Victorians and Barisal Bulls faced in the final of the 2015 edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) after beating the Dhaka Dynamites and the Rangpur Riders respectively in the qualifiers.
The Victorians’ captain, Mashrafe Mortaza won the toss and elected to field. The Bulls lost an early wicket in opener Mehedi Maruf for a score of just 11.
Maruf's partner, Seekkuge Prasanna, however, played with positive intent as he scored a quickfire 33 off 19 balls giving his team a much-needed start at the top of the innings. The Sri Lankan batsman's innings included two fours and two sixes.
Sabbir Rahman, who was instrumental in the Bulls’ qualifier victory against Rangpur Riders, failed to make an impact as he scored only 9 runs off 19 balls.
However, Shahriar Nafees and captain Mahmudullah steadied the ship as they put on an 81-run partnership in the last ten overs of the Bulls’ innings. Both the batsmen scored at a good rate as they reached scores in the 40s to help their team reach a respectable total of 156 in their 20 overs.
Mahmudullah top-scored with 48 off 36 balls while Nafees made 44 from 31 balls. The Bulls have missed Gayle's services in the last two games as the West Indian batsman made his way to Australia to play for the Melbourne Renegades in the upcoming Big Bash League.
Four bowlers picked one wicket each for the Victorians with 39-year-old Englishman Darren Stevens picking one wicket and conceding only 19 runs in his three overs. Other bowlers who picked up a wicket each include Ashar Zaidi, Nuwan Kulasekara and captain Mortaza.
The Comilla Victorians also lost an early wicket as Liton Das hit the ball back to bowler Mohammad Sami to fall cheaply for 3 runs. However, Imrul Kayes and Ahmed Shehzad were involved in a 54-run partnership to take the Victorians to a stable position.
Kayes went on to score his half-century despite suffering a hamstring issue before he got out for a 37-ball 53. Bulls’ captain Mahmudullah bowled a brilliant spell to get both Kayes and Shehzad out. Mahmudullah finished with excellent figures of 2 for 23 in his four overs, putting in a great all-round display.
Needing 23 off the last two overs, the Victorians lost two wickets of the first two balls in Stevens and Mortaza of Kevon Cooper's bowling. Cooper, after having not conceded a single run in the first three balls gave away 10 runs in the last three balls as Alok Kapali gave a hint of hope to the Victorians.
Sami, who bowled well the whole match and only having conceded 11 runs in his 3 overs, just had to defend 13 runs off the last over. But the Pakistani bowler gave away two boundaries as Kapali turned out to be the hero for the Comilla Victorians.
The 31-year-old Kapali is famously known for being the first Bangladeshi bowler to get a hat-trick in Test cricket. After being on the sidelines for a good number of years now, Kapali showed why he was highly rated at the start of his career. He played with composure and carried his side to a well-deserved victory.
With the three-wicket victory, Comilla Victorians have won their first BPL title. However, their captain Mortaza has been the winning captain in all the three editions of the BPL. The first two editions were won by now-defunct side Dhaka Gladiators, who were captained by Mortaza.