Skipper Yasir's excellent fight goes in vain as Comilla edge Khulna in thriller
Shining BD Desk || Shining BD
Comilla Victorians continued their winning streak with five wins in a row, beating Khulna Tigers by 4 runs in a last-ball thriller of the Bangladesh Premier League at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
Imruk Kayes-led Comilla managed to defend 165-2, courtesy of Pakistan pacer Naseem Shah bowling a great penultimate over, where he only leaked eight runs and scalped the wicket of West Indies batsman Shai Hope, who could’ve caused trouble for them.
All-rounder Mosaddek Hossain managed to defend 16 runs in the final over. Tiger's skipper Yasir Ali faced the final ball when they needed six runs to win.
Naseem finished with 2-29, with Mustafizur Rahman impressing after returning from injury by keeping it tight and taking one wicket for only 15 runs.
Earlier, sent in to bat first, Liton hit his second half-century in the ongoing BPL, scoring a 42-ball 50 with nine fours, while Rizwan also scored his second fifty with an unbeaten 54 off 47 balls, hitting four fours and a six to power the defending champions to a competitive total in 20 overs.
Comilla made a steady start as their opening pair Liton and Rizwan went unbeaten until the 9.5 and shared a 65-run stand before the former fell to Nahidul, giving a catch to Balbirnie.
Afterward, Rizwan and West Indies batsman Johnson Charles shared a quickfire 60-run stand off 38 balls for the third wicket to provide the side with some momentum after a steady start, and took the side 125 before the latter’s dismissal, as he got dismissed after scoring a 22-ball 39 with five sixes by Wahab Riaz.
Rizwan stayed till the end to gather a competitive total forming an unbeaten 40-run stand with Khushdil Shah, who hit an 11-ball 13.
Chasing 166, opener Tamim Iqbal continued his poor batting performance and was dismissed by Naseem for 11 off 10 balls, but Irish batsman Andy Balbirnie formed a 49-run partnership with Hope for the second wicket before getting run out for 38 off 31 balls, hitting five fours and a six.
Hope was eager to play the anchor role, as he was having trouble getting boundaries, but on the other end, Mahmudul Hasan Joy hammered two fours and two sixes in his quickfire 13-ball 26-run innings before he nicked one to wicket-keeper Rizwan off Mosaddek.
Later, Azam Khan and Mohammad Saifuddin couldn’t add much to the tally before they got dismissed off Tanvir Islam and Mustafiz for one and eight, respectively, but a well-set Hope, who played 32 balls for his 33 runs, couldn’t inspire much hope for Khulna as he got bowled in the 19th over.
Yasir hit three fours and one six for a 19-ball 30 and tried to take Khulna to the shore, but it wasn’t enough as Mosaddek maintained his composure to restrict the side to 161-6. Yasir, who has been the target of criticism from a lot of people for his recent performances showed much promise and confidence in his recent knocks as the captain of Khulna Tigers. Yasir is a batsman of class strokes and destructive power to get the ball over the fences. Although he failed to cluctch the match for his team in the end, his performance was nothing to be ashamed of. Yasir is getting back on track, and we hope to see more of him sending the ball flying and lead his team to the finals of this years BPL.
With the victory, Comilla strengthened their third place in the points table, while Khulna remained in the fifth spot.