Chittagong Vikings 186 for 6 (Mushfiqur 75, Shahzad 46, Saifuddin 3-45) beat Comilla Victorians 184 for 5 (Thisara 74*, Lewis retd hurt 38, Khaled 3-34) by four wickets
How the game played out
Chittagong Vikings withstood Thisara Perera‘s blistering assault at the end of the first innings to pull off a thrilling chase of 185, on the back of Mushfiqur Rahim’s sensational 75 off 41 balls to win with two balls to spare.
A stuttering start to the match by the Victorians cost them in the end as they managed just 33 for 2 in their first six overs, with Evin Lewis struggling to get going before eventually retiring hurt. Thisara gave them hope with his thunderous six-hitting, but he was outshined by Mushfiqur, who paced his innings brilliantly after taking over from the hot start offered by Mohammad Shahzad.
Robbie Frylinck, who had been hammered by Thisara for 30 runs off the 19th over of the first innings, redeemed himself by scoring the winning runs. Entering after the fall of Mushfiqur at the end of the 19th over, Frylinck hammered a six over midwicket with two balls to spare to seal the match.
Four Comilla batsmen departed in the 12th and 14th overs, bowled by Khaled Ahmed: Imrul Kayes bowled by an inswinger, Evin Lewis retiring hurt after pulling a hamstring, Liam Dawson bowled while backing away to drive, and Shahid Afridi stepping on his stumps while going back to hook, to stunt any momentum.
Thisara counterattacked with a 20-ball half-century after entering at No. 8, which included 30 runs off the 19th over bowled by Frylinck.
Shahzad rocketed the Vikings chase by scoring 43 off 21 balls in the Powerplay to take Vikings to 61 for 1.
Under pressure from a rampaging Mushfiqur, Mohammad Saifuddin came unglued in the 19th over of the Vikings chase by bowling a pair of no balls that made the resulting equation of 13 off eight balls more manageable.
Star of the day
Mushfiqur trumped Thisara with his phenomenal anchor role in the successful chase. It seemed Mushfiqur might have slipped on a banana peel when umpire Alex Wharf gave him out lbw on the last ball of the 18th over. But the decision was overturned on review after replays showed Mushfiqur had got some bat on the ball. It allowed him to score another 13 runs in the next over to take Vikings closer to victory.
The big miss
The Comilla management’s decision to send Thisara in at No. 8. Thisara is only three matches removed from his 140 off 74 balls against New Zealand. He had followed that up with two more blistering innings of 80 off 63 balls and 43 off 24 against the Kiwis prior to landing in Bangladesh. Despite being one of the most in-form batsmen in world cricket, he didn’t enter until the 14th over, missing out on key scoring opportunities as a result.
Where the teams stand
Vikings broke a deadlock with Comilla, Rajshahi and Rangpur to move into sole possession of second place with six points, two behind league leaders Dhaka Dynamites. Comilla are on fourth place, equal on points with Rajshahi and Rangpur, but ahead of Rajshahi on the net run rate.