Sylhet Sixers' captain David Warner in action during the BPL cricket match against Chittagong Vikings yesterday at Mirpur. -BCB
Sylhet Sixers survived a Robbie Frylinck scare to seal their first victory in the BPL as they snatched a five-run victory over Chittagong Vikings in a keenly contested match on Wednesday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
David Warner-led Sylhet, electing to bat first piled up 168 for five and then restricted Chittagong to 163 for seven, even though Robbi Frylinck took his side to the touching distance with a mayhem in the last two overs of the chase.
With 24 runs requiring to win the game, Frylinck who also contributed hugely in bowling (three for 26) almost made the unthinkable to thinkable, reducing the requirement to nine runs off last two balls but the bowler Al-Amin remained cool to resist him and scripted the side's five-run victory. Frylinck by then remained unbeaten on 44 off 24 with one four and four sixes, all of which came in the last two overs.
He lacked support from his top order, more specifically from the local batsmen. Opener Cameron Delport, another South African recruit of Chittagong Vikings kept the side aloft after his opening partner Mohammad Shahazad was dismissed for six in the first over, delivered by Taskin Ahmed.
Delport and Ashraful shared 57-run for the second wicket, with the former in the charge playing some aggressive shots while Ashraful remained restrained. Both of them departed in the space of six runs and two overs as Delport was run out while Taskin Ahmed got the better of Ashraful.
Delport hit four fours and three sixes in his 22 ball-38 and Ashraful made 22 off 23. With the team in strong 69 for three in ninth over, skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (5) and Mosaddek Hossain (7) failed to shine in, leaving the side in precarious 94 for five.
Sikandar Raza and Frylinck refused to give up and kept the side slowly but gradually in a position of dominance until Taskin Ahmed came up with fire in his last over. Taskin took the prized scalp of Sikandar Raza after he scored 37 off 28, hitting two fours and as many sixes and then claimed Nayeem Hasan for 0.
Sylhet sensed a victory with Chittagong still needing 38 runs in 12 balls. Nonetheless Frylicnk had another plan. He smashed Pakistan recruit tall fast bowler Mohammad Irfan two sixes to score 14 runs in the penultimate over and then came the last over in which he executed his plan to perfection barring the last two balls.
Taskin finally returned figures of 28 for four in fours over. After conceding 21 runs for one wicket in first two overs for one wicket, Taskin's last two spells, fetched him three wickets for just seven runs, a performance that was catalyst behind the side's victory. Only three batsmen of Sylhet Sixers earlier could reach double digit figure and they scored with such aggression and heavily that it was enough for Sylhet to compile a decent score in a sluggish pitch.
After being run-out disappointingly in the first match, Warner finally got his rhythm, smashing a 47 ball-59 with two fours and one six. With the top order batsmen failing around him, Warner's serene innings was key in keeping the side in the hunt of big score.
His knock was complemented by Afif Hasan's 45 off 28 in which he struck five fours and three sixes. And Nicholas Pooran gave the finishing touch with 32 ball-52 unbeaten, laced with three fours and as many sixes. Robbie Frylinck also starred in match for Chittagong with bowling with three for 26 in four overs.
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