Vikings go from bad to worse
By the looks of it, the Chittagong Vikings are headed for a distasteful year, almost akin to their last season. With two points in five games, they are sixth in the table and will need a major turnaround to make it to the playoffs.
It is not as though they do not stand a chance mathematically. There are still a number of games left and they are just one win away from entering the top four. However, their confused approach and their lack of confidence make it seem as though they still have a long way to go before they can end up on the winning side.
And truth be told, they seemed a completely different unit during their first game against Comilla Victorians, against whom they scored their only win. However, ever since that game they have been struggling not just to win matches, but also with their team combination.
They dropped Taskin Ahmed due to his lack of form and decided to bank on Tymal Mills and Imran Khan against the Dhaka Dynamites yesterday. Dwayne Smith could not find a place either.
The changes did not work though, as they slumped to their fourth consecutive defeat of the Bangladesh Premier League at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong yesterday.
Tymal Mills and Mohammad Nabi each took three wickets to restrict Dhaka to 148 in the first innings. But after the exchange, Chittagong's batting lacked the firepower and they only managed to score 129.
Like in their previous matches, Dhaka made a ballistic start. Mehedi Maruf utilised the Powerplay and hammered six fours and one six during his 20-ball 33 and set the tone. Much to Chittagong's relief, he was trapped in front by Nabi in the fifth over. Nasir Hossain replaced him and continued on his merry way with three fours in his 14-ball 20.
He was however, bowled by Mills with a faster delivery in the 10th over. Mills removed Kumar Sangakkara three balls later and that stopped Dhaka's run flow. They fell from 72 for one to 73 for three in 10 overs.
Mosaddek Hossain came in at four and tried his best to revive Dhaka with a 26-ball 35, however, Chittagong took regular wickets and managed to keep the league leaders in check. At the end, the total did not seem too threatening on a track that looked good for batting.
However, Chittagong's batsmen imploded during the chase. It seemed as though they were under pressure right from the start.
Jahurul Islam was run out in the third over after a mix-up between the openers. That brought Anamul Haque to the crease and at that point of time all seemed well for the Vikings. Anamul was hitting the ball well and he displayed his authority with a brilliant six off Nasir in the seventh over.
He tried to do the same thing in the very next ball but was caught at long on instead.
Tamim Iqbal seemed to be trying to play the role of an anchor but was dismissed in the 13th over for a 35-ball 27 and that's essentially when Chittagong's hopes faded away.
Mahmudul Hasan, Nabi and Nazmul Hossain tried to keep the ship afloat with a few stinging boundaries, but some good bowling from Mohammad Shahid ensured that they did not get away.
Shahid mixed his deliveries well and ended up with figures of three for 23.
After the match, Chittagong opener Jahurul admitted that their batsmen lacked confidence.
“We lost three matches in tandem. So obviously there is a dearth in confidence in our team. Maybe that fear of losing a game is in us because we have lost so many. I think what we need is a win. One win can change the confidence of the players,” said Jahurul during the post-match press conference yesterday.