Fortune Barishal used spin to squeeze out Comilla Victorians from the BPL’s first contest in Sylhet this year, winning the match by 32 runs. To rub further salt into the wound, Barishal also replaced Comilla on top of the points table with 11 points from eight games.
Shakib Al Hasan continued to star with both bat and ball, hitting his second fifty in the competition before picking up 2 for 20 from his four overs. But it was his use of Barishal’s offspinners that kept Comilla quiet. Nayeem Hasan and the part-timers Najmul Hossain Shanto and Chris Gayle combined to pick up four wickets in their eight overs while conceding 44 runs. Nayeem finished with 3 for 29 while Dwayne Bravo also chipped in with two.Earlier, Barishal had a productive batting powerplay and a handy middle-order stand to post 155 for 5, which proved to be a winning total.
Shakib’s half-century, his seventh in the BPL overall, contained four fours and two sixes – most of them coming down the ground. He added 67 runs for the fourth wicket with Tohwid Hridoy, who scored an unbeaten 31 off 37 balls.Munim Shahriar had earlier given Barishal some impetus with his 25-ball 45. He also targeted the straight boundary, hitting three sixes in the long-on to wide long-on range.Shakib’s form though is a complete turnaround after having scored 46 runs in his first four innings. Since then, he has had scores of 41, 50 and 50, leading Barishal’s batting when it has mostly struggled for big totals.
Comilla dropped Faf du Plessis to make room for pace-bowling allrounder Karim Janat, but the top and middle-order batters couldn’t make a fist of the 156-run chase. Imrul Kayes and Litton Das couldn’t give Comilla the required start. Mominul Haque top-scored with 30 but neither he nor any of his partners pushed for the run rate.Although Shanto and Gayle were effective with the ball, they haven’t really delivered with the bat for Barishal. Shanto’s runs graph in the BPL is flattening after failing to reach a fifty in the seven matches. Tanvir Islam removed him for 1 in this game as he miscued a slog inside the powerplay. Barishal hasn’t got enough out of Gayle either, who made just 10 today.