Sylhet were all out for only 79 in the 14th over and gave Comilla a 71-run victory under the lights at Mirpur today.
Sylhet’s Josh Cobb, Junaid Siddique and Mominul Haque were the only batsmen to reach double figures. The all fell like nine pins.
Shuvagata Hom picked three wickets, Andere Russell and Ashar Zaidi two each. They kept taking wickets, and some fell in a cluster to compound Sylhet’s problems today.
|Comilla Victorians v Sylhet Super Stars|
|Sylhet: 79 (13.5/20 over)|
|Comilla: 150/4 (20.0/20 over)|
Sylhet’s misery was put to an end by Andre Russell in the 14 th over. He sent back Rubel Hossain and Mohammad Shahid to complete a great day in the field for the Victorians.
Abdur Razzak prolonged the procession of batsmen playing reckless cricket when he was caught in the deep for two. Abu Hider took the wicket and Comilla fans were by now sensing a resounding victory.
The ninth over basically sealed Sylhet’s fate when Ashar Zaidi sent back Shahid Afridi and Nurul Hasan in the space of three balls.
Nurul Hasan misread Zaidi’s arm ball and was trapped in front.
Afridi played down the wrong line and was bowled neck and croft for six.
Shuvagata had wrecked Sylhet’s batting line-up with three wickets in two overs for only eight runs.
The seventh over saw the fall of Sohail Tanvir. The vastly experienced Pakistani player looked to paddle a ball from Shuvagata, missed it, tried to take a run and was promptly stumped by Liton Das.
The ultimate hara-kiri began when Sylhet batters decided to throw away their wickets, and any chance of winning today.
Sylhet Super Stars were reeling in their chase early after some silly errors from their top-order batsmen gave Comilla Victorians the upper hand.
Sylhet keeper Mushy was dismissed soon after Bopara run-out, and firmly tilted the match in favour of Comilla. He scored only two before Shuvagata Hom sent him back.
Mushfiqur Rahim handed Ravi Bopara’s wicket on a silver platter to Comilla when he ran out his partner in the sixth over.
There was never a run after Mushy placed the ball in front of cover. Bopara fancied it, Mushy denied his call and it was all too late for the English allrounder.
Naeem Islam had already smacked Josh Cobb for three fours earlier in the over, and then had a brain-freeze. He went for another heave and top-edged his agricultural shot to Abu Hider at square-leg.
Naeem played 18 balls for his 21 runs.
Sylhet lost their first wicket, that of Junaid Siddique in the fourth over. Shuvagata saw the batter coming and bowled it short, Junaid got the elevation but not the distance. He managed ten runs.
Earlier, Comilla managed to up the ante late in the innings and score 150 in 20 overs, and place a stiff challenge for Sylhet in this match.
Alok Kapali was unbeaten on 32 from 26 balls. He smashed two sixes and a four in his useful knock. Ashar Zaidi used the long handle and produced two fours and a huge six in his 31 runs.
The fifty odd runs from the fourth wicket gave the impetus for the total for Comilla.
Muhammad Shahid, Rubel Hossain and Shahid Afridi were the wicket-takers for Sylhet today.
Although Sylhet bowlers didn’t lose their plot, Comilla were on their way to a challenging total with Ashar Zaidi and Alok Kapali at the crease late in the innings.
They were able to put the odd loose ball away, and kept the Sylhet fielders honest with their smart running between the wickets.
The fourth wicket Zaidi-Kapali stand produced much needed 52 runs in seven overs after Imrul was dismissed.
The twelfth over saw Sylhet captain Afridi give his side another breakthrough after the previous over, and sent back Imrul Kayes with clever change of pace and flight.
Comilla were reeling by now, and their run rate could not rise beyond seven in the last five overs of play.
The second stand of 68 between Ahmed Shehzad and Imrul Kayes somewhat steadied the ship after the early loss of Liton, and kept the Sylhet bolwers at bay for 8.4 overs.
Ahmed Shehzad was looking good at the crease, scored 42 from 31 balls with five fours and a six. He missed a full ball from Rubel and was given out.
Mohammad Shahid extended his red-hot form into this match, and gave his side the early breakthrough with the key wicket of Liton Das.
The second over produced Liton's downfall, when he thought about leaving the delivery but was too late in his decision as the ball kissed his glove and flew to Mushy.
Today’s pitch looked a good one for batting, and gave Sylhet Super Stars captain Shahid Afridi the assurance of a manageable chase under the lights, particularly if the batter fire.
Sylhet won the toss and decided to field against Comilla led by Mashrafe Mortaza.
Comilla Victorians need to polish off the rough edges to their team, and fire in all cylinders before the knock out games later.
Although Comilla lost their last match against Rangpur, as a unit they are the best out there in this tournament.
For Sylhet, today’s game is a virtual eliminator, and defeat will remove all possibilities of a top-four finish.
Having won their last match, which was a good test of nerves for the Super Stars team, Shahid Afridi would be confident about his side’s chances today.
Sylhet Super Stars
JJ Cobb, Junaid Siddique, RS Bopara, Sohail Tanvir, Shahid Afridi (Captain), Mushfiqur Rahim (Wicketkeeper), Mominul Haque, Nurul Hasan, Abdur Razzak, Mohammad Shahid and Rubel Hossain
Ashar Zaidi, Alok Kapali, Shuvagata Hom, AD Russell, Mashrafe Mortaza (Captain), Naeem Islam jnr, Abu Hider, KMDN Kulasekara, Imrul Kayes, Liton Das (Wicketkeeper) and Ahmed Shehzad.