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2 February, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Saifuddin defies Dynamites in a thriller

Victorians go atop point table
Sports Reporter, Dhaka
Saifuddin defies Dynamites in a thriller
Comilla Victorians opener Tamim Iqbal as to his characteristic fashion pulls a powerful boundary during a key BPL-6 match against Dhaka Dynamites at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital yesterday. BCB Photo

Pace bowler Mohammad Saifuddin held his nerve under immense pressure to leave Dhaka Dynamites in a spot of bother after he clinched a one-run victory for Comilla Victorians in a nail-biting match of BPL yesterday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

Requiring 13 runs to win in the last over with big-hitter Andre Russell in the crease, Saifuddin demonstrated a skill of perfect Yorkers and cutters to restrict Dhaka to 126 for nine after his side was bowled out for a meager 127 in 20 overs in the opening day of Dhaka phase-3 of BPL.

Saifuddin began the over, trapping Rubel Hossain leg-before but No. 10 batsman Shahadat Hossain Rajib somehow managed a single to give the strike to Russell, raising Dhaka’s hope to win the match.

However Saifuddin’s two consecutive dot deliveries brought the equation for Dhaka to 12 off last two balls. If someone gave up the hopes of a Dhaka victory, Russell quickly brought them back to the reality by smashing a superb bottom-handed six over wide long-off. Very few batsmen in the world could hit such sort of delivery six but such was his muscle power that he looked hitting six easier, giving Dhaka a hope to clinch the match even though another six is required in the last ball.

Saifuddin remained calm despite knowing that anything is possible for such strongly built Russell, who mostly relied on his immense power. There was visible adrenaline-pump in Saifuddin but he executed his original plan to spear a Yorker to such precision that even Russell could only squirt it off the inside edge past his stumps and into the fine leg fence. That went for boundary but Comilla didn’t mind it. There was no reasons to do so indeed.

The one-run victory effectively propelled them to the top of the point table with 16 points in 11 matches and most importantly ensured that they would finish the league phase being in the top two positions. Saifuddin remained the unquestionable hero of the match, claiming his career best four for 22, in addition of that match-defining last over, more specifically the last ball.

It was fifth consecutive defeat for Dhaka and their sixth in last seven matches. Still Dhaka stayed at fifth position with 10 points and there are hopes for them. If they can win the match against Khulna Titans today, they could ensure play-off spot, without any trouble. They will collect 12 points in case of a victory today, same as the Rajshahi Kings have but they have the advantage of superior run rate. While Rajshahi have a net-run-rate of -0.518, Dhaka have 0.864, so the huge difference of net-run-rate is naturally understandable.

Rangpur Riders and Chittagong Vikings have 14 points each in 11 matches but the former is in second place with better net-run-rate.

However after a run glut in Chittagong phase, the BPL saw a poor score with both Comilla Victorians and Dhaka Dynamites finding scoring runs tougher in slow and low wicket.

Being sent to bat first, Tamim Iqbal though took the pitch equation out of the question, his fellow batsmen struggled for their timing. Tamim struck a 20 ball-38 with four fours and two sixes while all of the top order batsmen including Evin Lewis fell for single digit figure.

Shahid Afridi got 17 ball-18 and poised to give the side a strong finish until Sunil Narine got the better of him, leaving Comilla to 83 for six.

Mahedi Hasan with 20 and Wahab Riaz with 16 eventually helped the side propel past 100. Rubel Hossain was key in Dhaka’s bowling, grabbing four for 30 while Narine and Shakib Al Hasan took two each.

Saifuddin though was the highest wicket-taker for Comilla and delivered a magnificent last over, it was Wahab Riaz whose energetic bowling was instrumental behind Comilla’s victory, defending such a low total, which even their hardcore fans didn’t hope to materialize.

Pakistan recruit Wahab snapped up just one for 22 but the way he bowled at the death overs, even Keiron Pollard and Andre Russel found it tough to score against him. Wahab’s two overs at the death in which he conceded just eight runs made the ultimate difference.

Dhaka’s top order was as bad as Comilla but they kept them in the match thanks to three Caribbean’s—Sunil Narine who scored 22, Keiron Pollard and Andre Russell.

Pollard made highest 34 off 33 with two fours and two sixes. Russell though couldn’t finish the game of his own, he kept Dhaka in the match till the last ball, hitting 30 off 23 with two fours and three sixes.

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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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