Business end springs to life | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 31, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:03 AM, January 31, 2019

Business end springs to life

The Chittagong leg of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) produced the most exciting cricket out of all the legs in the tournament. The Dhaka leg had not lived up to expectations and the Sylhet leg did not meet the standards it set in the previous edition, but the Chattogram leg saw crowds thronging to the matches and they were treated to some good T20 cricket.

Chittagong Vikings were expectedly the crowd favourites but the likes of Rangpur Riders and Comilla Victorians also drew a lot of fanfare. Big runs were scored by big names. The first day of the Chattogram leg saw the highest score ever posted in the BPL as Rilee Rossouw and Alex Hales were in domination mode against Comilla Vikings. The previous legs had produced just one ton -- Laurie Evans hitting the season's first in Dhaka -- but this leg produced four in just six matches.

Rossouw and Hales picked up twin tons as Riders posted 239 for four. The wickets provided here offered plenty of opportunities for shot-making. The second-highest total was also notched as Evin Lewis struck a stormy ton, even though he was not a hundred per cent, as Comilla posted 237 for four against Khulna Titans. The best came from  'Mr. 360' AB de Villiers as he reigned supreme with some extraordinary shots against Dhaka Dynamites. Hales, his partner at the other end showed relative restraint as AB took the limelight and together the duo notched the world record for the highest third-wicket partnership.

Among the locals, Sabbir Rahman was in the headlines after his six-month ban was reduced by a month to accommodate him in the national team. Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan travelled to Chattogram to watch the BPL and dropped a truth bomb, saying: 'I think it would have been better for Sabbir to take some time and think deeply before the comeback'. It was the last chance for him, Hassan said. It was also the last chance for his side Sylhet Sixers, who were tottering at the bottom. Sylhet came back into the thick of things with two crucial wins to remain in playoff contention.

Chittagong and Dhaka however were facing conundrums of their own. Chittagong eventually made it through to the playoffs a day after Rangpur and Comilla. The Dynamites were still hanging on and would look to qualify in Dhaka. That the wickets here produced exciting cricket at the business end of the season should give organisers food for thought as the Chattogram leg came to an end with good vibes.

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