Chittagong Vikings lost their opening match of the BPL 2017 against Comilla Victorians by eight wickets at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium Tuesday.
Chasing an easy target of 144, Comilla reached their destination losing only two wickets with 16 balls to spare.
Comilla promoted English wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler to the opening slot as he opened the innings with fellow opener Liton Kumar Das. These two made a strong opening stand, scoring 43 within 4.1 overs.
Chittagong pacer Subashish Roy initiated the first breakthrough in the fifth over as he trapped Liton in front. Liton blasted 23 off 14 balls with three fours and a six.
Buttler though was confident at the other end and produced some good shots, ticking along the scoreboard nicely. Eventually, the Englishman got out two runs short of a well-deserved half-century. The right-hander’s innings was composed with three boundaries and two over-boundaries.
No 4 batsman Marlon Samules (35 off 18 balls) scored quickly in the end to wrap up the win for Comilla.
Earlier, Comilla captain Mohammad Nabi won the toss and elected to field.
Chittagong openers Soumya Sarkar and Luke Ronchi were off to a strong start as they formed a 63-run opening stand before Ronchi got out in the fifth ball of the sixth over.
Ronchi scored 40 off just 21 balls with four fours and three sixes. But after a good start Chittagong lost the plot in the middle overs, losing some regular wickets. Comilla all-rounder Saifuddin made a double blow as he took the wickets of the well-set Soumya (38 off 33 balls) and Anamul Haque (three of six deliveries) in the 14th over.
Chittagong captain Misbah-ul-Haq could not accelerate the run rate as the veteran cricketer scored only six off 11 balls before being cleaned up by seamer Al Amin Hossian in the 19th over.
Eventually, Chittagong only managed 143 for the loss of seven wickets and probably fell at least 20 short. As a result, Comilla chased the target down with a little less than three overs in hand.
Saifuddin was adjudged man of the match for taking three wickets conceding 24 in his quota of four overs.
144/2 in 17.2 overs (Buttler 48, Samuels 35*) beat Chittagong Vikings
143/7 (Ronchi 40, Saifuddin 3/24) by eight wickets
WHAT THEY SAID
Chittagong Vikings captain Misbah ul Haq
We didn’t capitalise on that start. You need to play sensible and then at the end, you should have wickets in hand to put pressure on the opposition. We lost too many wickets after the 11th over and couldn’t settle down. Sometimes it happens when you have 80-odd runs and you are going 10 an over, you starting thinking ahead to 200-plus. I think in the coming games we need to be very careful about that in the middle overs, even if we are playing a T20 game. We need to be sensible. I personally thought, after looking at the pitch, 170-180 was a winning score. We were up there after the start but we lost it in the middle somewhere. We were 20-25 runs short. If we made 170, it would have been an interesting game.
Comilla Victorians all-rounder Saifuddin
This is our first win of the tournament. So obviously we are happy and also feeling good that I have contributed for my team in the victory. I have learned a lot from the South Africa tour and my national team experience. This is the second season in BPL for me. And I am more confident now. Soumya [Sarkar] was well set when Chittagong were scoring quickly. I tried to bowl some dot balls against him and get his wicket. That breakthrough was crucial. Our batsmen chased down the target carefully. So we were confident from the start.