BPL 4, Match 32, Review: Comilla Victorians stay in the hunt with clinical win over Barisal Bulls

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Ahmed Shehzad BPL
Ahmed Shehzad. (Photo Source: BPL)

All had not been well for the defending champions Comilla Victorians this season. After having lost 7 matches this season, they were up against Barisal Bulls. The Bulls, too, have had a poor season thus far. It was the battle between the two least ranked teams in the points table. A win for either of the sides would not have changed their positions in the points table. However, it would have helped them keep their chances alive in the season.

Coming into the game, the Barisal Bulls won the toss and opted to bat first. They decided to leave out Thisara Perera from the playing eleven. English all-rounder Dawid Malan replaced him in the team. The Comilla Victorians skipper Mashrafe Mortaza did look a little unhappy after having lost the toss. They roped in Marlon Samuels in their starting eleven to boost their batting. Pakistani pacer Sohail Tanvir was the one missing out.

Dilshan Munaweera was joined by Dawid Malan to open the innings for the Barisal Bulls. Munaweera’s pathetic run this season continued. Shahadat Hossain got through the defenses of Munaweera (7) in the second over. Another Sri Lankan, Jeevan Mendis, came in to replace Munaweera. Mendis and Malan ensured that the Bulls did not lose any more wickets in the powerplay.

They took the score to 42 at the end of fielding restrictions. Mohammad Saifuddin struck right after that, in the 7th over, to send Malan (9) packing. Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim was the new man in. Meanwhile, Mendis hit a couple of fours and a couple of sixes in his 24-ball 28. He departed in the 10th over after being bowled by Nabil Samad. At the half way stage, the Bulls looked unsteady with 64/3.

Wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals as skipper Rahim watched from the other end. Shahriar Nafees (11) and Nadif Chowdury (0) fell in quick succession. Rahim had moved to 29 off 23 balls but was dismissed soon after the double blow. The innings crashed with Barisal Bulls struggling at 92/7 in 15.2 overs.

Some late hitting by Enamul Haque (20* off 15 balls) and Abu Hider Rony (16* off 6 balls) saw the Bulls posting a sizeable 142/8 in 20 overs. In good batting conditions, the score never looked to be par. Comilla Victorians skipper Mashrafe looked very pleased wiith the bowling effort. Nabil Samad was the pick of the bowlers with 3/17 to his name.

Comilla Victorians had issues with their batting throughout this season. No wonder why they languished at the bottom of the points table. However, things worked out for the defending champions on this day. Openers Imrul Kayes and Ahmed Shehzad looked in good touch. Having started cautiously, they took the score to 44 in the powerplay. The key was that they did not give a wicket away.

Soon, Kayes decided to up the ante. The plan worked well and Comilla Victorians looked cruising towards the modest target. They put on 93 for the first wicket in 77 balls. The partnership was eventually broken in the 13th over when Dawid Malan got the wicket of Imrul Kayes. Kayes scored 46 off 35 balls with 6 fours and a six before departing. Another veteran of the game, Marlon Samuels, arrived at the crease.

Samuels and Shehzad batted along to take the score past the 100-run mark. In the process, Ahmed Shehzad brought up his first fifty of the season. Just when Shehzad decided to cut loose, he edged one to Rahim off the bowling of Rumman Raees. Shehzad’s 61 runs came off 56 balls with 5 fours. Khalid Latif walked in to join Samuels.

A couple of fours and a big six in his unbeaten 18-ball 27 saw Samuels guide the Comilla Victorians to their second win of the season. Despite the win, they still languish at the bottom of the points table. They won convincingly by 8 wickets.

Brief Scores:

Barisal Bulls 142/8 in 20 overs (Rahim 29, Mendis 28, Samad 3/17, Rashid 2/21)

Comilla Victorians 145/2 in 19 overs (Shehzad 61, Kayes 46, Malan 1/8, Raees 1/38)

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