Tamim Iqbal’s unbeaten 141 was the difference maker as Comilla Victorians won their second Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) trophy, defeating Dhaka Dynamites by 17 runs at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
Wahab Riaz bagged three wickets as Dhaka were beaten once again the final. Shakib Al Hasan’s men had made the final in the tournament’s last edition as well. It proved to be Tamim’s day as he turned up to become the first Bangladesh batsman to hit a ton this season and the sixth batsman in this tournament to achieve the feat as Comilla gave Dhaka a 200-run chase.
Dhaka did not start their chase well as Sunil Narine fell in just the second delivery of the innings, run ot by a sharp piece of fielding from Mohammad Saifuddin.
Rony Talukdar and Upul Tharanga then took flight as Dynamites picked up 71 runs in the Powerplay. That seemed to set up the chase as the duo starred in a 102-run second wicket stand as Rony blazed to a 26-ball 50. Tharanga fell in the ninth over with the score on 102, out after a breezy 27-ball 48 with four fours and three sixes. Shakib then came in with the chase looking more than possible but he perished to Wahab Riaz, holed out at mid-on after a top-edge. After 12 overs, Comilla were 98 for 2. Dhaka were 121 for three after 12, ahead of the asking rate.
Then came the collapse as Rony, batting brilliantly on a 38-ball 66, laced with six fours and four sixes, perished to a direct hit – the second Dhaka batsman to fall to a run-out.
All-rounders Andre Russell (4) and Kieron Pollard (13) fell cheaply. Tamim was at hand to take a heroic catch that dismissed Pollard and Comilla Victorians fought back into the game. With 58 required off four overs, Nurul Hasan and Mahmudul Hasan started hitting the big shots. Wahab then bagged his third wicket as Nurul was caught-behind after scoring 18. 22 runs were needed off the last over but Dhaka only managed four to finish on 182/9.
Earlier, Tamim Iqbal’s incredible ton – his first-ever BPL hundred -- powered Comilla Victorians to 199 for the loss of three wickets. There was nothing extraordinary about the the Comilla innings apart from Tamim’s innings. Run-making was difficult at the start and Evin Lewis fell in just the second over of the innings.
Anamul Haque showed sensibility, combining with Tamim in an 89-run second-wicket that took the score towards the hundred-run mark. Comilla then lost their third when Shamsur Rahman fell to a silly run-out. It was the Tamim show after that. He blitzed an incredible 10 fours and 11 sixes during his unbeaten 141 to help Comilla to 199 for three. Such was Tamim’s dominance, that Imrul Kayes, his partner at the other contributed just 17 in the fourth-wicket 100 stand. The other batsmen together contributed just 47 runs together off 59 deliveries. Tamim’s strike-rate stood at 231.14 while none of the other batsmen scored at even a run-a-ball during the Comilla innings.
Dhaka skipper Shakib Al Hasan, who bagged one wicket but went for 45 runs, broke the record for highest number of wickets in a single edition with his haul of 23 wickets from 15 matches.