Comilla Victorians got off to a winning start when they beat Sylhet Sixers by four wickets in the nail-biting third match of sixth edition of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 held on Sunday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium at Mirpur.
Chasing a winning target of 128-runs set by Sixers, Comilla Victorians reached home making 130 for the loss of six wickets with one ball to spare.
Thanks to Shahid Afridi for his match-winning unbeaten knock of 25-ball off 39-run that steered Comilla to the coast after the initial batting collapse.
Comilla lost their two top order batsmen — Evin Lewis and Imrul Kayes —early but skipper Steven Smith and Shoyeb Malik added 30-run for the third wicket stand before Al-Amin broke the partnership removing Victorians skipper Smith for 16.
Malik and Anamul Haque failed to stretch their innings before both the batsmen fell to Sandeep Lamichhane.
Opener Tamim Iqbal kept his nerve cool by keeping his wicket unhurt with a responsible 24-ball off 45-run with the help of one boundary and equal number of over boundary.
But it was Afridi who finished the chase in style hitting five boundaries and two over boundaries along with Mohammad Saifuddin who was also unbeaten on 5.
Afridi of Victorians was later named the player of the match for his match-winning knock.
Sandeep Lamichhane and Al Amin Hossain shared two Victorians wickets conceding 16 and 27 runs respectively.
Earlier, Nicholas Pooran played a responsible knock helped Sylhet Sixers to score a decent total of 127 for 8 from their allotted 20 overs, after they were forced to bat first by Comilla Victorians.
Sylhet suffered early batting jolt as they slipped 56 for 5 inside 11.3 overs in the face of tight bowling attacks by the Victorians bowlers. Opener Liton Das was the first wicket to go while skipper David Warner failed to take the responsibility after the victim of unfortunate run out.
Aafif Hossain and Touhid Hridoy also lasted a little leaving Sixers in a deep trouble.
Nicholas Pooran and Alok Kapali, however, revived Sylhet Sixers’ innings in the middle contributing 55 runs for the sixth wicket stand to take the team’s total past 100-run landmark.
The Caribbean batsman Nicholas Pooran contributed 26-ball off 41-run laced with five boundaries and two over boundaries before he fell to Mohammad Shahid while Alok Kapali supported him with a priceless knock of 19 before he perished to Saifuddin.
Mohammad Saifuddin, Mohammad Shahid and Mehedi Hasan were the pick of Victorians bowlers as they shared two wickets conceding 13, 22 and 24 runs respectively.-BSS