POST TIME: 23 January, 2019 09:58:08 AM
Comilla stun Dhaka
Bangladesh premier league
Sports Reporter, Dhaka

Comilla stun Dhaka

Dhaka Dynamites captain Shakib Al Hasan (R ) celebrates with teammates after taking a wicket of Comilla Victorians during their BPL-6 match at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital yesterday. BCB Photo

Thisara Perera came with a superb all-round performance as Comilla Victorians defended 153 to stun mighty Dhaka Dynamites by seven runs in a heated and nerve-wrecking BPL battle at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital yesterday. Perera struck a 12-ball 26 with willow to help the side propel past 150 from a hopeless situation before claiming three for 14 in crucial moments to script Comilla’s fascinating victory. Despite their second straight defeat, Dhaka remained at top by better run rate with 10 points. Chittagong Vikings and Comilla Victorians also have 10 points but they stay in second and third position.

Thanks to an Andre Russell blitz, it seemed Dhaka would cruise to the victory, but a heated conversation between Dhaka captain Shakib Al Hasan and Comilla Victorians coach Mohammad Shalahuddin halfway through the innings made it a battle ground before Comilla, riding on Perera’s match-defining bowling held back Dhaka to 146 for nine.

Drama unfolded when umpire Renmore Martinesz called a delivery of Comilla Victorians left-arm spinner Mahedi Hasan wide after Darwish Rasooli chopped it down the ground with Dhaka precariously standing at 38 for three.

 It was a confusing call, prompting Comilla Victorians coach Salahuddin protest the decision by surprisingly entering into the ground. During the strategic break, Dhaka captain Shakib Al Hasan went into the edge of the boundary rope and questioned the move of Salahuddin, who is considered the all-rounder’s mentor since his BKSP life.

Shakib’s protest seemed to have angered Salahuddin and he again entered into the ground and was seen to have pushed Shakib while going out from the ground.

From what it was understood that the incident created a tension in the tent of the two teams.

However, Russell kept Dhaka in the hunt as long as he was in the crease. He struck a marauding 24-ball 46, smashing four fours and five sixes and added 62 runs with Shakib Al Hasan.

As Dhaka sensed a victory, Thisara Perera undid Russell with a slower delivery to spark a sensational collapse that saw Dhaka losing four wickets for 10 runs in 13 balls.

Shahid Afridi dismissed Shakib for 20 and Perera took out Shuvagata Hom (3) and Nurul Hasan Sohan (4), the last two recognised batsmen of Dhaka, to script the side’s victory.

 Shakib Al Hasan was instrumental to Dhaka’s bowling once again but at the end it mattered little. Fresh from his four for 16 in the match against Chittagong Vikings less than 24 hours ago, he strangled Comilla with three for 24 that effectively routed the 2015 edition’s champions’ way to post a big total.

Pace bowlers Andre Russell and Rubel Hossain reduced Comilla to 27 for two but Tamim Iqbal and Shamsur Rahman resisted and were well set to lay a solid platform for the side.

Shakib returned to his second spell to take the prized scalp of Tamim, dismissing him for 34 before removing Shahid Afridi (16) and Shamsur in the space of three balls. Shamsur was the highest scorer for Comilla with 48 off 34, hitting three fours and one six.

These three wickets stalled the progress of Comilla. Later Russell and Rubel came up with some superb death overs, but Perera’s onslaught, a 12-ball 26 with three sixes helped the side propel past 150.