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Superb Saifuddin puts Dhaka on the brink in thriller, Sylhet beat Chittagong

  • Published at 09:03 pm February 1st, 2019
Comilla Victorians bowler Saifuddin bowls against Dhaka Dynamites during their BPL match at the Sher-e-bangla national stadium in Mirpur Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Andre Russell was batting fluently at the other end but unfortunately ran out of partners as Nurul hasan (0), Shuvagata Hom (4) lost their wickets to the brilliant bowling of Saifuddin and Wahab Riaz

Mohammad Saifuddin produced his career best T20 bowling performance to give Comilla Victorians a thrilling one-run win against one of the Bangladesh Premier League heavyweights Dhaka Dynamites at the Sher-e-Bangla national stadium in Mirpur on Friday.

How the action unfolded 

Batting first, Comilla made a steady start with Tamim Iqbal and Evin Lewis. They took the total to 38 before Lewis was bowled for eight by fellow West Indian Sunil Narine in the last ball of the fifth over. 

From there, Dhaka’s fast bowler Rubel Hossain, off spinner Shuvagata Hom and captain Shakib al Hasan put the pressure on the batsmen and reaped rewards. 

The Victorians were reeling at 64/5 when they lost their captain Imrul Kayes for seven as the opposition number Shakib got the better of him and the regular fall of wickets continued.

Rubel made sure there was no late order flurry and took the wickets of the dangerous Thisara Perera (9) and late order batsmen Mahedi Hasan (20) and Wahab Riaz (16) to end up with figures of 4/30 in his four overs.

Eventually, Comilla were all out for 127 in their 20 overs and Tamim Iqbal was the only batsman who looked in good nick scoring 38 off 20 balls with four fours and two maximums.

In reply, Dhaka too were staring down the barrel at 29/4 when they lost their captain Shakib al Hasan for seven.

He was bowled by off spinner Mahedi Hasan who used the two-paced surface and his variations to near-perfection in the powerplay, who also took the wicket of Upul Tharanga for a duck. 

From there, Dhaka counter-attacked with two West Indians – Sunil Narine (22) and Kieron Pollard (34) – but both lost their wickets at crucial times to bring the match back in the balance at 90/6.

Andre Russell was batting fluently at the other end but unfortunately ran out of partners as Nurul hasan (0), Shuvagata Hom (4) lost their wickets to the brilliant bowling of Saifuddin and Wahab Riaz. 

The game changer

In the last over, Saifuddin had 12 runs to defend and he had Rubel on strike. He bowled a length delivery that had Rubel trapped in front. With the equation now 13 required off five balls, the last batsman Shahadat Hossain came in and managed to take a run off the second delivery and give the strike to Russell. But the next two balls were brilliantly bowled and stifled Russell from scoring. With 12 needed for a Dhaka win off two deliveries, Russell hit a full and wide delivery over extra cover for a maximum. With six now needed Saifuddin bowled an immaculate in-swinging yorker to have Russell tumbling, taking an inside edge, and getting the ball to go through fine leg for a boundary. Saifuddin had earlier injured his left-hand while fielding but he showed immense courage to wrap up the injured hand and bowl the last over, and bowl it so well. That, along with his previous three wickets gave him match figures of 4/22 and was an easy pick for man-of-the-match. 

What this result means      

The result takes the Comilla, who have already qualified, to the top of the table with 16 points from 11 games with eight wins. Dhaka have now lost five games in a row after an excellent start to the tournament and have 10 points from 11 games with five wins and six losses and are on the brink of elimination.  

Sylhet v Chittagong

Meanwhile in the other game of the day at the same venue, Sylhet Sixers beat Chittagong Vikings by 29 runs.

Asked to bat first, Sylhet posted 165 losing five wickets in their allotted 20 overs, Andre Fletcher top-scoring for his side with 66 off 53 balls, featuring half a dozen fours and a couple of sixes.

Hardus Viljoen bagged four wickets for Chittagong.

In reply, Chittagong were dismissed for 136 in 18.3 overs, Mushfiqur Rahim scoring the highest 48 for his side.

Ebadat Hossain took four wickets for Sylhet.