Tamim Iqbal's ton proved to be the title-deciding performance in the final of the sixth season of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) as Comilla Victorians beat Dhaka Dynamites by 17 runs on Friday at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium to clinch the title for the second time.
The Dynamites won the toss and sent the Victorians to bat first. They posted a mammoth total of 199 in 20 overs with the help of Tamim Iqbal’s unbeaten 141 off 61 balls with 10 fours and 11 sixes.
While replying to Victorians’ 199, the Dynamites tumbled for 182 in 20 overs for nine wickets. Rony Talukdar struck 66 off 38 with six fours and four sixes while Upul Tharanga made 28 off 27 deliveries but their efforts went in vain as they lost the match.
In the league stage of the tournament, the Dynamites played two matches against the Victorians and lost both of them. In the third chance in the final, they failed to overcome the challenge of the Victorians once again.
Wahab Riaz was the best bowler for the Victorians as he bagged three wickets, including Shakib Al Hasan and Kieron Pollard, who can single-handedly change the fortune of the match at any time. Thisara Perera and Mohammad Saifuddin also took two wickets each for the Victorians.
Earlier, the fiery Tamim struck unbeaten 141 to propel Victorians to 199 in 20 overs for three wickets. Later, he was adjudged man of the final.
Dynamites captain Shakib Al Hasan was adjudged player of the tournament for his all-round performance. Shakib scored 301 runs apart from taking 23 wickets in the BPL.
The Victorians lost the first wicket in nine runs. But Tamim was in a mood to smash the bowlers over the boundary this evening. He hit his fifty in 31 balls and reached the ton in the next 19 deliveries.
The Victorians posted 40 in the powerplay losing the wicket of Evin Lewis. The Carribean batting star fell prey to Rubel Hossain. Lewis went to drive him through the cover but failed to go to the line of the delivery. Rubel appealed for an lbw but the on-field umpire decided against the dismissal. Shakib Al Hasan, the captain of the Dynamites, reviewed against the decision and got the wicket of Lewis.
During the eighth over of the innings which was bowled by Qazi Onik, the Dynamites missed two chances to remove Anamul Haque and Tamim Iqbal respectively.
In the second ball of the over, Anamul drove to the cover and Rubel missed a catch. Three balls later, Nurul Hasan Shohan missed another catch from Tamim. In the last ball of Rubel’s next over, Tamim got another life when Andre Russell failed to grab a catch before it landed.
In the very next over, Tamim got his fifty in 31 balls with five fours and two sixes. But the Victorians lost Anamul and Shamsur Rahman in a span of three deliveries, though the dismissal of Anamul was controversial. TV replays showed the ball kissed the bat of Anamul before hitting the pad. But the umpire called it out.
After Shamsur’s dismissal, Tamim and Imrul Kayes made the partnership in the fourth wicket stand. They have added 100 runs in just 46 balls. Imrul added 17 off 21 deliveries while Tamim struck the rest of the runs.
Tamim finished on 141 off 61 balls with 10 fours and 11 sixes to his credit. It was the best T20 innings by a Bangladeshi cricketer. It was the highest individual innings by a Bangladesh in the BPL as well. Along the way, Tamim surpassed Sabbir Rahman’s 122 which he struck against Barishal Bulls while playing for Rajshahi Kings back in 2016.
Shakib and Rubel took one wicket each for the Dynamites while the other bowlers were clueless to do their job in front of the imperious Tamim. Shakib conceded 45 runs while Rubel gave away 48 runs.
With this, the month-long cricketing extravaganza of Bangladesh came to an end.