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BPL 3 Final Review: Comilla Victorians v Barisal Bulls, Kapali heroics snatches victory for the Victorians

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BPL 3
Comilla Victorians win the BPL 3. (Photo Source: The Daily Star Twitter Handle)

The Comilla Victorians were crowned champions of the Bangladesh Premier League 2015 after they registered a stirring 3-wicket victory over the Barisal Bulls in the title clash at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka.

Alok Kapali was the hero in the end after his cameo of 39 runs from 28 deliveries helped the Victorians snatch the victory off the grip of Bulls and helped his team lift the BPL 3 title trophy. Initially, Kapali did not look very threatening and was hardly playing like it was a chase, but he pushed the accelerator at the right time and turned the game upside down in the favor of the Victorians.

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After being put into bat, Barisal Bull were pushed on the backfoot in the third over when Mehedi Mahruf was dismissed LBW by Ashar Zaidi. Seekugge Prasanna and Sabbir Rahman added some runs and shared 35 runs partnership between them before S. Prasanna was clean bowled by Darren Stevens. Sabbir Rahman also departed after a while attempting a senseless shot off a length delivery from Mashrafe Mortaza only to get bowled out in the end. However, the reliable pair of Shahriar Nafees and skipper Riyad Mahmudullah snatched the momentum back in a spectacular way, building a solid partnership of 81 runs between them.

Both batsmen kept themselves busy with singles and doubles and also kept finding the fence regularly. Both the batsmen carried on until the second last ball of the first innings until Mahmudullah lost his wicket to Nuwan Kulasekara. Nafees had scored 44 of 31 balls with the help of three sixes and two boundaries and Mahmudullah raced to 48 from 36 balls which included six boundaries and 1 hit over the fence. Barisal Bulls finished their innings at 156/4 in 20 overs.

Mortaza used six bowlers overall with Zaidi, Kulasekara, Stevens picking one wicket each. Mortaza also managed a wicket.

The target was not very dominating and was achievable by modern standards. However, their task suffered the first blow when opener Liton Das perished in the third over as he gave a simple return catch to Mohammad Sami. The other half of the opening pair, Imrul Kayes, carried on his good form and in the company of Ahmed Shehzad counter-attacked the opposition bowlers.

The second-wicket pair added 54 runs. Ahmed Shehzad (30 runs from 24 balls) was going well but was dismissed in the 10th over when he failed to middle the ball while attempting a sweep against Mahmudullah and was caught at short fine leg by Rayad Emrit. The off-spinner struck for a second time in the next overs when he managed to dismiss Imrul Kayes. The left-hander made a fine 53 off 37 balls and hit six boundaries and three sixes in his stay at the crease.

65 runs were still required off 50 deliveries. The two new batsmen at the crease were Alok Kapali and Ashar Zaidi. Kapali played calmly while Zaidi began attacking. But, the Victorians suffered another setback after Zaidi was run-out by Mahmudullah in the 16th over.

The 18th over saw two wickets fall off consecutive deliveries. Darren Stevens stay at the crease was also short lived after he misread an off cutter by Kevon Cooper and gave a simple catch to Mahmudullah. Mashrafe Mortaza was run-out of the very first delivery he faced. The game was slowly slipping away from the hands of the Victorians.

But, there was an anti-climax to the situation. The Bulls had virtually sealed the game. 13 runs were needed off the last over of Mohammad Sami. Shuvagata Hom was also run-out off the first ball. But, this was the moment when Kapali stole the show by hitting consecutive boundaries and a double to equal the scores. Kapali successfully flicked a full toss on the leg side to complete the last single required to finish the game.

Mahmudullah Riyad and Kevon Cooper were the most successful of the Bulls’ bowlers, returning figures of 2 for 23 and 2/31 respectively. Mohammad Sami (1/24) was the other wicket-taker.

Brief Scores:

Barisal Bulls – 156/4 (Riyad Mahmudullah 48; Darren Stevens 1/19)

Comilla Victorians – 157/7 (Imrul Kayes 53; Mahmudullah 2/23)

Man of the Match: Alok Kapali

Player of the Tournament: Ashar Zaidi

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