Comilla Victorians players celebrate a wicket against Khulna Tigers in the ongoing BPL at SBNCS in Mirpur on Friday. -Collected
Comilla Victorians beat Khulna Tigers by 65 runs on Friday in Dhaka when the ongoing Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) resumed after a day's recess. With this defeat, Khulna's chance to move to the next phase of the event became slim. They will now have to win their next match against the same team, Comilla Victorians, and wait for Chattogram Challengers' defeat to Sylhet Sunrisers.
If Khulna beat Comilla in their last league match, and Chattogram beat Sylhet, and at the same time, Minister Group Dhaka failed to win against Fortune Barishal, both Khulna and Chattogram will qualify for the next phase. But if Dhaka beat Barishal, only one of Khulna and Chattogram will qualify for the next phase, and only if they win their last respective matches.
And Comilla, who had ensured a play-off berth earlier, cemented their place in the top-two in the league phase of the event along with Fortune Barishal. Khulna needed to score 189 to win this match. But they never were in the race to win it as their batters failed to come up with an appropriate response. Only two Comilla batters have passed the 20-run mark. Two of their top five batters suffered a duck each- Rony Talukdar and Mushfiqur Rahim, and the other three- Andre Fletcher, Soumya Sarkar and Yasir Ali- have also failed to do well.
They eventually tumbled for 123 for all wickets in 19.3 and suffered a big defeat. Abu Hider Rony, the left-arm pacer, bagged three wickets conceding 19 runs while Nahidul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Moeen Ali scalped two wickets each to ensure a big win for the Victorians. Earlier, Moeen guided the Victorians to post a huge total of 188 for six in 20 overs. Along with him, Liton Das and Faf du Plessis have also done well with the bat scoring 41 and 38 respectively.
Liton ensured a flying start for the Victorians hitting three sixes and four fours off just 17 balls to score 41 at a strike rate exceeding 240. At one point, the right-handed batter looked so strong to hit a fifty, but he eventually could not do that. It was a brilliant catch behind the wicket by the veteran wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim. He was airborne while taking the catch jumping on his right side and protecting the ball with his left hand. It was one of the best catches he picked up in this edition of BPL.
Moeen came to bat on at five and smashed 75 off just 35 balls with nine big sixes. Khulna had no clue to stop the Englishman. In the 13th over of their innings, Moeen smashed Mahedi Hasan for three sixes. Sri Lankan allrounder Thisara Perera was also smashed for six thrice by Moeen.Perera was the best bowler of Khulna taking two wickets conceding 28 in three overs while Khaled Ahmed, Nabil Samad, Mahedi, and Soumya Sarkar bagged one wicket each. Mahedi spent 40 runs in his stipulated four overs.