English batsman Dawid Malan and Shahriar Nafees' record 150-run second wicket stand guided Barisal Bulls to a rather comfortable seven-wicket win over a struggling Chittagong Vikings in the BPL T20 2016-17 season in Mirpur on Monday.
With three wins in four games, Barisal are now joint top in the points table alongside Khulna Titans and Dhaka Dynamites while Chittagong suffered their third consecutive defeat after winning their opening match.
Chasing 164, Barisal lost English opening batsman Josh Cobb (six) in the second over as he was cleaned up by paceman Subashish Roy but Malan and Shahriar ensured there would be no more major hiccups on their way to victory.
Shahriar struck his third fifty in four games and held the ship for Barisal alongside Malan. The pair added 150 quickfire runs - the highest second wicket partnership in BPL history.
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Shahriar Nafees plays one towards the on-side DHAKA TRIBUNE
Shahriar, formerly Bangladesh's vice-captain, eventually departed after scoring 65 off 59 balls with seven fours and a six. After dismissing the left-hander, Pakistan medium pacer Imran Khan Jr also picked up the wicket of Sri Lankan pacer Thisara Perera in the same over.
However, a well-set Malan, who struck three sixes in a row off the bowling of Dwayne Smith in the 18th over, was joined by captain Mushfiqur Rahim and the wicketkeeper-batsman blasted two boundaries of his own to clinch victory with two balls remaining.
In the process, Mushfiq became the first batsman in BPL history to reach the 1000-run club.
On the other hand, player of the match Malan was unbeaten on 78 off 48 balls with seven sixes and three fours.
Earlier, Chittagong made a flying start to their innings after being asked to bat by Mushfiq. Skipper Tamim Iqbal and Jahurul Islam, who was promoted to open the innings, added 116 runs.
Tamim reached his fifty before being soon dismissed for a well-made 51-ball 75, featuring 10 fours and two sixes, in the 14th over while Jahurul departed after scoring 36 off 34 balls.
Chittagong suddenly lost the momentum as they added only 47 runs in their last seven overs to end their innings on 163/3.
Anamul Haque remained not out on 27 off 19 balls while Smith added a run-a-ball 17 at the end.
WHAT THEY SAID
Barisal captain Mushfiq
Obviously it feels good when your team wins and I think it (confidence) comes naturally. All the teams in the BPL are strong and working really hard. There’s a lot of input from the franchise owners as we can’t give them anything apart from our performance. And we are happy to be able to do that. The last few matches went very well for us and we will try to continue our good run. However, it's difficult to continue the momentum all the time but I think all the four games we have played so far - went well. Obviously it feels great when you get the rhythm back. Previously, when I didn't express anything, nothing happened. So I thought I should express myself more. The way Dawid Malan played was outstanding, along with Shahriar Nafees, who has been our consistent performer.
Chittagong skipper Tamim
I am frustrated and I think you (media) guys will also be frustrated to see the type of cricket we have been playing. It’s not acceptable scoring just 40 runs in the last eight overs of a T20 game as we had nine wickets in hand. When I got out, thereafter we just scored 40 runs. You can't accept that from your batting line-up. Even if you have good players or coach, if you play like this you will never be able to stop the disaster. I don’t know what's going wrong as we try to work on all the aspects when we practise. But if we are not able to implement that on the field then it’s a big problem. But still, I think 160-odd is not a bad total. And if we were able to bowl better, especially in the middle overs, then things would have been different.
Barisal Bulls 167/3 in 19.4 overs
(Malan 78*, Shahriar 65, Imran 2/30) beat Chittagong Vikings 163/3
(Tamim 75, Jahurul 36, Anamul 27*) by seven wickets