Late order heroics from Alok Kapali gave Comilla Victorians the title of BPL-2015 champions after they beat Barisal Bulls by three wickets
Kapali was unbeaten on 39 from 28, and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
Imrul Kayes was the top-scorer with his 53 in this final. Ahmed Shehzad also contributed with a thirty.
For Barisal. Mahmudullah and Kevin Cooper took two wickets each.
|Comilla Victorians v Barisal Bulls|
|Comilla: 157/7 (20/20 over)|
|Barisal: 156/4 (20.0/20 over)|
Alok Kapali brought his experience into play, and struck two fours of short of length wide balls and busted Barisal’s bubble with the winning single in the last ball.
Comilla needed ten runs from the last over bowled by Mohammad Sami. After Shuvagata Hom was run out in first ball, Barisal were sensing victory.
Alok Kapali struck two boundaries of Cooper’s leg-side rubbish, and gave his team hope of a stunning win against overwhelming odds.
Barisal seemed to have the match in their grasp when Kevin Cooper dismissed Darren Stevens and Mashrafe Mortaza in the 19 the over.
The 16th over saw Comilla’s Ashar Zaidi run out, as the batsman took off for a non-existent single and paid the ultimate price. Barisal needed that wicket badly!
Zaidi managed 16 from 14 balls with a four and a six
Imrul’s wicket in the 12th over brought back Barisal into this contest, and gave their fans hope of defending 156 under the lights at Mirpur.
He became Mahmudullah’s second victim of the night, when the Comilla opener slashed a wide ball straight to Sabbir at backward point.
Imrul was stopped at 53. He played only 37 balls and struck six fours and three sixes in his scintillating knock.
Comilla Victorians surged towards their target on the back of Imrul fifty. The leading Bangladeshi batter in this BPL reached his fifty in the 11th over with two consecutive sixes of Prasanna.
Barisal Bulls broke the second wicket 54-run partnership by sending back Comilla’s Pakistani recruit Ahmed Shehzad in the tenth over.
Ahmed Shehzad tried to sweep Mahmudullah’s tossed up delivery, got a top edge and was safey caught at shortish fine leg by Rayad Emrit.
Shehzad batted positively during his stay at the wicket, scored 30 runs from 24 balls with three fours.
Mohammad Sami of Barisal Bulls gave his team the first breakthrough in the third over when he sent back Comilla opener Liton Das cheaply.
Liton was a mere spectator to Imrul’s bashing at the other end, faced six balls and scored three runs before he was dismissed.
Earlier, Barisal Bulls reached 156 on the back of a superb fourth wicket stand between Mahmudullah and Shahriar Nafees under the lights at Mirpur.
The last over of Barisal’s innings saw the fall of their captain Mahmudullah. The batsman went across the stump for a slog sweep but missed Kulasekara’s full ball on the stumps.
Mahmudullah scored 48 from 36, and struck six fours and a six in his timely knock.
Shahriar-Mahmudullah stand of 81 runs in 9.2 overs look impressive, but could have yielded more runs had it not been for the discipline of several Comilla bowlers.
Shahriar was not out on 44. He faced 31 balls and spanked two fours and three sixes during his stay at the wicket.
For Comilla, Ashar Zaidi, Kulasekara, Darren Stevens and Mashrafe Mortaza picked up a wicket each. Zaidi and Stevens were the most economical by far.
Barisal Bulls captain Mahmudullah and Shahriar Nafees repaired the early damage and consolidated the innings with quiet confidence.
As the Comilla bolwers began to err, both of them cashed in struck some lovely boundaries on both sides of the wicket.
The fourth wicket stand reached 52 runs in 7.1 overs, and Barisal fans hope the partnership takes their team to a challenging total against Comilla.
Comilla Victorians had their nose in front after the half-way mark, particularly when captain Mashrafe Mortaza bowled Sabbir Rahman neck and croft.
Barisal Bulls batter Sabbir came down the track, swung his bat but connected only thin air. In the meantime Mashrafe’s medium-fast ball crashed on to the timber.
Sabbir failed to get going tonight, faced 19 balls for his nine runs.
Comilla Victorians were on the ascendancy after Barisal lost their second wicket before ten overs were completed.
After Maruf went, his partner Prasanna launched a blistering counterattack and entertained the Mirpur crowd with a flurry of boundaries.
His cameo came to an end in the eighth over when Comilla’s Darren Stevens knocked back his middle stump. Seekkuge Prasanna smashed 33 in quick time, from only 19 balls with two fours and two sixes to his name.
Comilla Victorians’ in-form allrounder struck gold in his second over when his flatter delivery trapped Barisal Bulls opener Mehedi Maruf in front.
After being hammered for boundaries early in the over, Zaidi got his sweet revenge as Maruf failed to connect with his mighty swipe. The batsman scored 11 runs.
Comilla Victorians captain Mashrafe Mortaza won the toss of the all-important finale of BPL-2015 against Barisal Bulls led by Mahmudullah and decided to field under the lights at Mirpur.
Batting will be key in these two evenly matched teams in terms of bowling. Considering how Comilla and Barisal have played in the league stage and the qualifiers, today’s final promise a closely fought battle between two thoroughly professional units in this year’s BPL.
Even though injuries took their toll, Victorians managed to win games, some by sheer individual brilliance when the chips were down and romped into the final. Comilla were superbly led by Mashrafe, and with Abu Hider’s 21 wickets, Ashar Zaidi’s all-round display on top of significant contributions from Imrul Kayes, Shoaib Malik and Nuwan Kulasekara, they looked clearly the better side on most matches they played.
With four morale-boosting wins in the last four games, Barisal have the impetus going into today’s finale, and exceeded expectations by coming this far in this tournament. With a calm and collected leader in Mahmdullah, Barisal found the pieces falling into their places as the competition progressed, and played really well as a team.
Without the services of Chris Gayle, Bulls found other match winners in their ranks, and when all seemed lost, they has someone to pull them out of trouble. Rony Talukdar's form may be worrying but Sabbir Rahman's return to form is encouraging. Kevon Cooper, Mohammad Sami and Al-Amin Hossain have combined perfectly as a pace-bowling unit.
Mahmudullah has been shrewd in his use of spinners Seekkuge Prasanna and Taijul Islam, whenever necessary. Their fielding will have to be electric if they are to stop Comilla.
The final could also decide the highest wicket-taker of this season with only one wicket separating Hider and Cooper
Al-Amin Hossain, KK Cooper, N Dutta, RR Emrit, E Lewis, Mahmudullah (Captain), Mehedi Maruf, Mohammad Sami, Nadif Chowdhury, S Prasanna, Rony Talukdar (Wicketkeeper), Sabbir Rahman, Shahriar Nafees, Sharifullah, Sohag Gazi, Suhrawadi Shuvo, Taijul Islam and BRM Taylor
Abu Hider, Ahmed Shehzad, Alok Kapali, Ariful Haque, Ashar Zaidi, Dhiman Ghosh, Imrul Kayes, KMDN Kulasekara, Liton Das (Wicketkeeper), Mahmudul Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza (Captain), Mukhtar Ahmed, Naeem Islam jnr, AD Russell, Shoaib Malik, Shuvagata Hom, DI Stevens and Sunzamul Islam