Afridi cameo takes Comilla to victory
Shahid Afridi starred with a 25-ball 39 to take Comilla Victorians to victory over Sylhet Sixers on the second day of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
It turned out to be another low-scoring encounter in the early afternoon kick-off during the second day of the Bangladesh Premier League as Comilla Victorians defeated Sylhet Sixers by four wickets at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.
Tamim Iqbal played a handy 34-ball 35 at the top of the innings before a cameo knock from Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi saw Comilla overhaul the required runs after restricting Sylhet to 127 for 8.
The match was touted as the clash between Australia duo Steve Smith and David Warner – both serving international bans after a ball-tampering row last year that rocked Australia cricket -- as they led their respective teams out in the middle. The duo are playing their first season in the country's premier T20 competition and were handed the captaincy of their respective sides. The two captains, all smiles in the lead-up to the match did not have the best debut as both fell for low scores. Warner did not have the rub of the green when he was wrongly given out after a mix-up with his batting partner Towhid Hridoy. Smith was given out after a review was taken as the ball had appeared to deflect slightly after moving past his bat. The decision left questions in viewer' minds.
Sylhet started badly after being sent in to bat, losing Liton Das for 1 before the mix-up saw Warner leave. Towhid himself struggled to get going, perhaps the captain's dismissal still playing on his mind and was out leg-before after a struggling 24-ball 8. Sabbir Rahman fell to a poor shot before Nicholas Pooran and Alok Kapali's 66-run stand for the sixth-wicket allowed Sixers to reach 127 for 8 wickets. Pooran hit a 26-ball 41, laced with five fours and two sixes while Kapali contributed with a 20-ball 19.
Comilla did not have the best of starts either, losing Evin Lewis (5) and Imrul Kayes (0) in quick succession. Smith joined the steady Tamim at the other end to take the score past 50 before he nicked Al Amin through to the wicket-keeper Liton Das. Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane then bagged Shoaib Malik and Anamul Haque to bring Sylhet back into the game. Tamim had been carrying the innings but the second mix-up of the match took place between him and Shahid Afridi. Pooran's direct hit saw Tamim walk and it was left to Afridi to take Sixers to victory and he did it in style. He took Mohammad Irfan for 10 with a six and a four in the same over (17th) in which Tamim fell. Taskin Ahmed was lofted over mid-off for six before a slash over point in the next delivery got the equation in Sixers' favour. Afridi then hit the penultimate ball of the last over, bowled by Kapali for four to seize the win.