Comilla Victorians were perhaps the most consistent team in BPL 2017 until the knockout stage as they won nine matches out of 12 outings in the group phase. But their good form was not visible in the knockout stage as they lost both the qualifiers comprehensively against Dhaka Dynamites and Rangpur Riders respectively.
Comilla missed their captain and icon Tamim Iqbal in the first four matches due to injury. The prolific left-hander played from the fifth match onwards, and was in pretty good form. Tamim scored 332 runs in 10 innings at an average of 36.88 and strike rate of 132.8.
Young all-rounder Saifuddin was also impressive with the ball as he took 16 wickets in 13 innings. With that said, he was smashed by Rajshahi Kings captain Darren Sammy in the last over of the innings as he went for 32 runs.
The West Indies’ Marlon Samuels also scored good runs in the middle-order as he made 321 runs in 10 innings at a stunning average of 53.5. Pakistan recruit Shoaib Malik also scored 218 runs in nine innings.
But all of their efforts went in vain as they were not able to play dominating cricket in the two knockout games, and eventually bowed out of the tournament.
Mahedi Hasan Rana (Local)
The young off-spinner impressed with his spin bowling for Comilla this season. One of his best performances came against Rangpur, particularly against big hitters like Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum. Mahedi conceded only two runs in 12 balls in his first spell and ended with mesmerising bowling figure of 2/15 from his quota of four overs. He often had to open the innings with his off-spinners. Overall, he took 10 wickets in as many innings at an economy rate of 7.78.
Hasan Ali (Overseas)
The world’s No 1 ranked ODI bowler Hasan produced some impressive performances in BPL 5. The Pakistani right-arm fast bowler arrived in the middle stage of the tournament and was straightaway right on the money. Hasan took 16 wickets in just nine innings at an impressive economy rate of 7.03. He also bagged a five-for against Dhaka. Hasan bowled well in the two qualifiers. In the first qualifier, he notched three wickets for just 16 runs in his stipulated four overs and in the second, he picked up one wicket for 23 runs. But unfortunately, the other bowlers failed to keep up the pressure and Comilla lost both the qualifiers.
Jos Buttler (Overseas)
Buttler was one of the major signings for Comilla as they recruited the English big hitter just before the tournament started. Buttler scored some runs in the beginning of the tournament but failed to produce his natural aggressive innings later on. Buttler scored 225 runs in 13 innings, including just one fifty-run innings, at a strike rate of 110.29. The strike rate is poor compared to his ODI and T20 strike rates, which are 117.93 and 144.11 respectively. Buttler had a chance to become a hero in Qualifier 2 against Rangpur where his team needed him the most. But he only managed to score 26 off 16 balls and got out in a crucial stage. Eventually Comilla lost by 36 runs.
Imrul Kayes (Local)
Top-order batsman Imrul was not impressive as the left-hander played every match for the Victorians only to score 299 runs in 14 innings at an average of 27.18. The average seems pretty good for a top-order batter but the unimpressive thing was the strike rate. Imrul scored those runs at a striker rate of just 105.28. This is unbecoming for a top-order batsman, and certainly not what the team need. What’s more, he failed to register a fifty in 14 innings. In the two qualifiers, Imrul scored nine off six balls against Dhaka and nought off two deliveries against Rangpur. And so, it was good start for Imrul in the early stage of the tournament but bad finishing in the end, just like his team Comilla.