Barisal Bulls opened their account in this season’s BPL with a six-wicket win over Comilla Victorians, whose fight fizzled out during a fourth-wicket stand of 49 between Mushfiqur Rahimamd Thisara Perera, which sealed the contest. Comilla, the defending champions, remain winless and would be worried by a brittle batting line-up, though bowling seems to be their strength.
Set 130 to win, Barisal opener Dilshan Munaweera struck two pleasing fours before getting caught at mid-off in the fifth over but Dawid Malan quickly restored the pressure with two boundaries in the same over. Mashrafe Mortaza and Nabil Samad then bowled six overs to give away just 26 runs, increasing the required run rate from 6.87 to 8.55. It resulted in Shamsur’s laboured 26-ball 16 ending up in the hands of long-on in the 11th over.
Mushfiqur broke the boundary drought with a slog-swept six in the 12th over, before Malan edged his third boundary in the following over from Sharif, though he was immediately caught off the next ball at cover for 26. With Mashrafe finishing his spell (0/21) with Barisal needing 52 off the last six overs, Mushfiqur and Thisara Perera struck boundaries off Sharif and Tanvir. They wrested back control of the game when they struck one six each off Imad, who conceded 17 runs in the 17th over.
Their fourth-wicket stand ended when Mushfiqur faintly edged Tanvir to the keeper, but he got them closer to the win with his 23-ball 33. Perera eased Barisal’s nerves with two boundaries in the penultimate over, completing the win with nine balls to spare.
Comilla could have slipped further from 73 for 6 in the 14th over, if it wasn’t for the 38-run seventh-wicket partnership between Marlon Samuels and Sohail Tanvir.
Samuels – who came to bat after both openers fell within 3.5 overs – was involved in the run-outs of Nazmul Hossain Shanto and Imad Wasim, and saw Liton Das and Nahidul Islam fall meekly. So he had to get Comilla out of trouble. He started off the seventh-wicket stand with two fours off Al-Amin Hossain and nearly blew Thisara Perera away with a straight hit.
Tanvir got into the act with a whack over midwicket for his first six. Mahedi Hasan dropped him on 13 in the 18th over, a sitter that ended up hitting him on the face, before hitting the floor. After Samuels departed for a run-a-ball 48, Tanvir struck two sixes over long-on in the last over, his unbeaten 30 off 19 balls giving Comilla the late runs that often make the difference but this time ended in futility. (Courtesy ESPN Cricinfo)