Hot favourite Comilla Victorians made a decent start to the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) by registering a two-wicket win over Sylhet Sunrisers at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
The victory was not straightforward despite Sylhet being bowled out for 96 in 19.1 overs as Comilla had to play 18.4 overs and lose eight wickets before confirming the victory.
At one phase, a victory looked highly unlikely but Mahidul Islam Ankan and Tanvir Islam held the nerve to overcome the nerve-wrecking moment to help the side clinch the victory. Ankan was not out on 9 with Tanvir on 3.
The simple chase got tougher due to the failure of their top order who played one shot too many in the typically slow and low wicket in Mirpur. Faf Du Plessis, playing his first match in the BPL, was dismissed for 2 when Sohag Gazi removed him with a superbly taken return catch. His fellow opener Camron Delport though started well, was out on 19.
The middle order comprised with Mominul Haque (15), captain Imrul Kayes (10) and Nahidul Islam (16) got dismissed once they crossed double digit figure. Ariful Haque too was out on 2, leaving the side 55-5 as Sylhet sensed a victory, defending this below par total.
Afghanistan recruit Karim Janat however edged the side closer to victory, hitting 18 off 13. Once he was removed by Taskin Ahmed, match again titled toward Sylhet.
To their delight, Ankan and Tanvir quelled the fear and sailed the side home. Nazmul Islam Opu was the highest wicket-taker for Sylhet with 3-17 while Sohag Gazi and Mosaddek Hossain took two wickets apiece.
Put into bat first, Sylhet looked never likely to get a total past 100. Their batter started poorly and played wretched shot to dig their own graveyards. However Comilla bowlers also bowled well to make the matter worse for them.
Nahidul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman and Shohidul Islam took six wickets evenly to cause the ultimate damage. For Sylhet, the highest scorer was their New Zealand recruit Colin Ingram with 20. Their English recruit Ravi Bopara made 17 while Sohag Gazi scored 12. They are the only three Sylhet batter to
cross double digit figure. However, they got 19 runs from extra.