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20 April 2024

Fortune Barishal lifts maiden BPL title beating mighty Comilla Victorians

Messenger Sports

Published: 22:17, 1 March 2024

Fortune Barishal lifts maiden BPL title beating mighty Comilla Victorians

Photo: Collected

Fortune Barishal edged past four-time winners Comilla Victorians in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2024 final to lift the tournament's title for the first time ever.

In the grand finale that took place at the Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket Stadium (SBNCS) in Mirpur in front of a full house, Barishal defeated Comilla quite comprehensively by six wickets. 

It was the first time two Bangladesh stalwarts Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah won the BPL title.

The capacity crowd in Mirpur got to witness yet another all-round show from Kyle Mayers. He opened the bowling for Barishal and picked up the wicket of powerplay dasher Sunil Narine and gave away just 26 runs off his four overs.

Mayers, who bats left-handed, looked like a million dollars in the second half of the game. He smashed five boundaries and two sixes in his elegant and stroke-filled 30-ball-46. 

Andre Russell was taken to the cleaners by his West Indies teammate in the 15th over as Mayers smashed his West Indies teammate four two sixes and as many fours and that over really took the game away from Comilla. 

David Miller and Mahmudullah finished the 155-run chase with six balls in hand.

For about half an hour, Tamim Iqbal looked like the younger version of himself. The southpaw, who generally takes some time to assess the pitch in such chases, was unusually aggressive right from the start.. 

He attempted the reverse-sweep twice in the first over. He couldn't connect any of the shots but intentions were quite clear from the Barishal captain.

Tamim cracked three sixes and as many fours, and he danced down the track on two occasions. He went after Moeen Ali, an off-break bowler, shrugging off his weakness against this type of bowling. 

Tamim (39 off 26) and Mehidy Hasan Miraz (29 off 26) got their team off to a rollicking start (59-0 after six overs) to set the tone. 

The opening partnership of 76 between the duo meant the required run rate was never going to be a problem for Barishal. 

Fortune Barishal limited Comilla Victorians to 154-6 in their 20 overs. At one stage, it looked like Comilla would get past the 160-mark but Mohammad Saifuddin bowled an excellent yorker-filled final over to deny one of the strongest hitters of the ball in Russell. 

Russell, who cracked last match's hero James Fuller for three sixes including the tournament's biggest one (98 meters), struggled to go big against Saifuddin. 

Saifuddin gave away three wides and a no-ball but ended up conceding only seven, keeping Russell quiet. The West Indies hitter failed to get under the ball in the last over and denied singles to Jaker Ali twice. 

Earlier, three out of Comilla's top four got starts but failed to convert them to big scores. 

After Sunil Narine's early dismissal, the in-form Towhid Hridoy (15 off 10) threw his hands at a full and wide delivery and Mahmudullah did the rest again at third man in the fourth over. 

James Fuller got his second wicket in his next over when he scared Comilla skipper Litton Das. 

Litton, who had done well in the second half of the tournament, creamed three boundaries but hit the ball straight to third man in the sixth over where Mahmudullah was stationed. Litton made 16 off 12.

Johnson Charles, the star of last year's final, smashed two sixes in his 17-ball stay before getting out to his West Indies teammate Obed McCoy. He scored 15.

Onus was on Mahidul Islam and Jaker Ali to give Comilla a strong finish as Andre Russell was held back for the back end of the innings. 

Mahidul couldn't press on the accelerator when Comilla needed it. He smashed a six off Mohammad Saifuddin in the 17th over but failed to execute the ramp over fine leg and got out bowled on 38 off 35.

Russell finished with 27* off 13 while Jaker Ali was unbeaten on 20 off 23.

Messenger/Sumon

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