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9 February, 2019 02:56:16 AM


Comilla regain BPL title

Beat Dhaka by 17 runs in pulsating final
Sports Reporter, Dhaka
Comilla regain BPL title
Triumphant members of Comilla Victorians pose for a photograph after clinching the BPL-6 title beating Dhaka Dynamites by 17 runs in the final at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital yesterday. BCB Photo

Tamim Iqbal lived up to the reputation of a big match player by smashing his first BPL century, that too in his maiden BPL final, and led Comilla Victorians to clinch the trophy of the cash-rich tournament, considered as second biggest T20 extravaganza in cricket world, for the second time yesterday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

The dashing opener struck a Herculean century, a 61-ball 141 not out-- a rare feat achieved by a Bangladeshi player—adorned with 10 fours and 11 sixes to sink Dhaka Dynamites single-handedly by 17 runs.

In doing so, Tamim gave Dhaka a bitter taste of defeat in the BPL final for the consecutive second time.

His marauding century was key to Comilla’s massive 199-run total for three in the final after which their bowlers survived from Dhaka top order’s assault to help the side restrict them to 182 for nine. In fact Comilla regained the title after one year.

Tamim also contributed with two tough catches during Dhaka’s chase that resulted in two key wickets of Shakib Al Hasan and Keiron Pollard, making the final game almost a one-man show.

But hardly anybody expected such a domineering century, a Chris Gayle-like century from Tamim Iqbal.

His breathtaking century enthralled the full-house crowd and gave them occasion to witness one of the best T20 innings played by a local batsman.

He seemed to be on a different zone totally, reminiscing the

Gayle century, which plundered Dhaka in the final of the last season.

More than anything else it seemed the crowd witnessed Tamim the way they had seen him growing until he made his transformation to serve the purpose of the team by remaining satisfying in the sheet anchor role. ut such a century, full with unorthodox and proper cricketing shots demonstrated the fact that he can now claim to be on the verge of turning him from the shadow of a good batsman into someone with the potential to go the next level.

The magnitude of the century lied in another thing. He remained unbeaten and finished with a daddy hundred, 141 off just 61 balls, at a strike rate of 232 when no other batsmen from his side had strike rate over 86. Much of their batsmen struggled to get going but it made no difference as Tamim, as he hammered 70.8 per cent of his team's total of 199.

In his brutal knock he hit 10 fours and 11 maximum, which is the record by a Bangladeshi batsman.

The next best was Sabbir Rahman nine sixes in his 61 ball-122 in 2016. His strike (231.14) in century is the best, while the next best was 230.61 was Ahmed Shehzad’s 49 ball-113 in 2012 BPL.

However Shakib Al Hasan’s decision to bowl first seemed to have paid a rich dividend as Comilla Victorians batsmen including Tamim Iqbal were suffocated to make runs in a pitch looked to be slow and low.

Dhaka were pumped up further after Rubel had dangerous Evin Lewis leg-before for 6. Tamim and Anamul Haque Bijoy then slowly but gradually recovered the loss of Lewis while the former grew with strength to strength.

Anamul struggled to score but Tamim was in different zone. Such was his imperious touch that he kept striking boundaries even in some unplayable deliveries.

Shakib Al Hasan broke the partnership by trapping Anamul leg-before for 24 off 30 before Shamsur Rahman was run out for naught. If it gave Dhaka some relief, Tamim’s brutal assault after that left them in a speechless state. Tamim shared a 100 off 46 with Imrul Kayes for the unbroken fourth wicket stand in which he himself made 83 off 25. Kayes was not out on 17 off 21.

Only Sunil Narine from Dhaka was spared to some extent conceding 18 for no  wicket in four overs. Shakib and Rubel took one wickets but conceded 45 and 48 runs respectively.

Dhaka were set a target of 200 which in this kind of pitch was tougher one. Their situation worsened by the run out dismissal of Sunil Narine in the first over. But Rony Talukdar and Upul Tharanga hit back with 102 off 52, giving Dhaka a glimmer of hope to do the unthinkable.

A spirited Comilla came back into the match through Thisara Perera whose slower delivery caused the dismissal of Tharanga for 27 ball-48, studded with four fours and three sixes.

Comilla regrouped well and Wahab Riaz came back in his second spell with a fire to get the better of Shakib Al Hasan (3) and marauding Andre Russell (4). In both occasion Tamim was the fielder, taking catches from a position that looked always tougher for a fielder.

In between a good fielding from the Comilla fielders ran Rony Talukdar who was also in sublime form, out. Rony smacked 38 ball-66, with six fours and three sixes.

The dismissal of two big hitters Russell and Pollard indeed ended Dhaka’s all hopes of overhauling that big target.

Wahab Riaz ended with three for 28 while Saifuddin and Thisara Perera claimed two wickets apiece. Tamim was adjudged man of the match for his scintillating performance while Dhaka skipper Shakib AL Hasan became player of the tournament.

The title brought Comilla Tk two crore prize money while Dhaka bagged Tk 75 lakh as the runner-up.



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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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