Comilla beat Sylhet in BPL
Comilla Victorians won the title by defeating Sylhet Strikers by 7 wickets in the final of the ninth season of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) on Thursday (February 16). Sylhet Strikers collected 175 runs after losing 7 wickets in scheduled 20 overs. In reply, Comilla scored 176 runs for the loss of 3 wickets in 19.2 overs. Imrul Kayes won the fourth title of BPL after defeating Sylhet. For Comilla, Liton Das was dismissed with 55 runs from 39 balls, but Johnson Charles remained unbeaten with 79 runs from 52 balls and Moeen Ali remained unbeaten with 25 runs from 17 balls.
Comilla captain Imrul Kayes won the toss and invited Sylhet to bat first at Mirpur Shere Bangla National Stadium. Two Sylhet openers scored 18 runs in the first over. But Tauhid Hridoy went back to Sajghar without scoring any runs in the first ball of the second over. Captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza wanted to take control of the team by going down one down. But he made his way to the pavilion with 1 run off 4 balls. After coming to the crease, Mushfiqur Rahim made a partnership of 79 runs off 56 balls with opener Shanta. Shanta completes his fifty with 38 balls. This is his fourth half-century in this tournament. Shanto became the first batsman of Bangladesh to reach the milestone of 500 runs in a BPL after completing 48 runs earlier. He started the final match 48 runs short of 500. His innings was stopped by being bowled by Moeen Ali after scoring 64 runs in 45 balls with 9 fours and 1 six in great batting. He scored 516 runs in 15 innings at an average of 39.69 and a strike rate of 116.84.
Riley Russo of South Africa touched 500 before Shanta in a match of BPL between home and abroad. He scored 558 runs in 13 innings for Rangpur Riders in 2019 season. Rousseau’s release was also in front of Shanta. But in the end he could not do it. Russo’s name is also number three in the list of highest runs in one season in BPL. He scored 495 runs for Khulna Tigers in 2019-20 season. Mushfiqur scored 491 runs at an average of 70.14 and a strike rate of 147 in that event. This was the record for the highest run scored by a Bangladeshi in a single tournament for so long. Pakistani batsman Ahmed Shehzad is fifth in the list with 486 runs in the first season.
Mushfiq continued to fight despite returning to the dressing room. Ryan Berl scored 13 runs from 11 balls despite being beaten. Thisara Perera could not open the account of runs. He took the path to the pavilion with zero runs. George Linde got life twice en route to 9 runs. Linde was 9 off 6, Zakir 1 off 4 and Tanjim was unbeaten on zero runs. In the end, Sylhet set a target of 176 runs thanks to Mushfiqur’s unbeaten 48-ball 74 runs. Mustafizur Rahman took 2 wickets at the cost of 31 runs in 4 overs for Comilla. Andre Russell, Tanveer Islam, Sunil Narine and Moeen Ali took one wicket each.
Earlier, Mashrafe got himself involved in a unique achievement by taking the field in the final against Comilla Victorians. He is the first captain to play 100th match in BPL. Mashrafe won 64 matches in 99 matches. Lost in 35. In all, this is Mashrafe’s 105th match. Before this, he did not captain in five matches. Mashrafe has won the title maximum four times in the previous eight editions of BPL. He won the title twice for Dhaka Gladiators, once for Comilla Victorians and Rangpur Riders. Outside of these three teams, Mashrafe has played only for Dhaka Platoon.