All-round bowling performance sets up big win for Comilla Victorians

All-round bowling performance sets up big win for Comilla Victorians

- in Cricket News
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Comilla Victorians 117 for 3 (Tamim 54*, Shamsur 36) beat Chittagong Vikings 116 for 8 (Mosaddek 45*. Afridi 2-10, Saifuddin 2-23, Riaz 2-23) by seven wicket

How the game played out

Comilla Victorians exploited the conditions to great effect and then chased down a meager total with little trouble as they climbed to the top of the table. On a day of rain delays and collapses, Victorians didn’t even need the batting services of Evin Lewis, who had made an unbeaten ton on Monday, as they chased 117 with 2.2 overs to spare. Tamim Iqbal’s unbeaten 54 steered them.

After rain had delayed the toss, Mushfiqur Rahim elected to bat in overcast conditions. Mohammad Saifuddin struck straightaway with two balls swinging the same way – one into the left-handed Shadman Islam, who was lbw on review, and one away from right-hander Yasir Ali who was caught at cover – to reduce the Vikings to 3 for 2. Rahim found himself out there in the third over, and was out nicking Wahab Riaz to the wicketkeeper in the fifth. With their most slid player gone, and only 17 on the board despite the presence of Mohammad Shahzad, Vikings had plenty to do after another spell of rain had cut the game down to 19-overs-a-side.

But partnerships were hard to come by as Victorians imposed their bowling might to restrict Shahzad’s strokemaking before running him out, and kept any middle-order partnerships from developing. Shahid Afridi’s 2 for 10, following from his 3 for 27 on Monday, squeezed them in the middle overs and only Mosaddek Hossain’s unbeaten 25-ball 43 could keep them from holding. Mosaddek’s innings was full of improvisations on a surface where hitting through the line was difficult. Vikings took 24 off the last two overs, through Mosaddek’s two fours and two sixes, but 116 was not a sufficient total.

Turning points

  • The toss. Imrul Kayes said he was happy at the toss, because he had wanted to bowl. The damp pitch, dim light, and overhead conditions suited Kayes’ pace trio well and they didn’t allow Vikings a strong base

  • Shahzad’s run-out. The opener had laboured to 33 off 35 and had his eye in when Mosaddek sold him down the river by calling for a second run and leaving him stranded with a change in mind. This was in the 13th over

Star of the day

Batting conditions eased out after the first innings, but Tamim Iqbal’s second fifty of the season still needed some work. The opener, who began the tournament with four single-digit scores in six innings, was patient as he got in. As he built a stable base for Victorians, he also got Shamsur Rahman to open up and up the rate as the pair put up 65 for the second wicket.

The big miss

Thisara Perera came on to bowl after most damage had been done, but the end-overs specialist couldn’t close the innings off, going for 22 in his two overs.

Where they stand

The win vaults Comilla Victorians into first place with 14 points in ten games. Chittagong Vikings had the chance to do this as well, but for now they remain tied in second with Rangpur Riders, on 12 points in ten games. Their net-run-rate, however, is negative.

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