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ESPNcricinfo selects the BPL's best eleven, keeping in mind the tournament's stipulation of having only five overseas players in a team
February 20, 2013
12 matches, 421 runs, average 42.10, six 50s
Before this BPL, Shamsur was one of those run-of-the-mill Bangladeshi batsmen who hadn't done any justice to his talent. After it ended, he was the third highest run-scorer, going some way to fulfill his potential. It also won him a place in the 25-member preliminary Bangladesh side for the Sri Lanka tour. Shamsur hit six fifties in the tournament, the most by any batsman in a single BPL. Out of those six fifties, three led to wins for the Rangpur Riders. His best innings was an unbeaten 98 against Sylhet Royals, though he could have easily got to his century had he upped his scoring rate, as he made just eight run in the final five overs.
11 matches, 410 runs, average 41.00, four 50s
It is hard to keep Hodge out of these elevens, because the 400-odd runs he scored in this edition is quite a regular performance from the Australian batsman. He is the tournament's highest scorer with 756 runs in two seasons, and led the Barisal Burners quite well once again. They were within one win short of another last-four finish but couldn't get through. Hodge's best knock came in a losing cause. Against the Riders in Khulna, only two Barisal batsmen made it to double figures, yet Hodge and Sabbir Rahman went after the Riders' competitive total of 174 runs, falling seven runs short with Hodge finishing 58 off 38 balls.
11 matches, runs 357, average 39.66, four 50s
Before Taylor was thrust into the Chittagong Kings captaincy, the teams' hopes had begun to dwindle on the field, with their only success being Brian Lara's appearance in the dugout. After losing their first home game, Mahmudullah relinquished the captaincy, and Taylor was asked to lead. For the next seven games, he turned around the team's fortune by not just scoring runs, but also managing the multinational team appropriately. In the knockout stage, Taylor's presence was heavily missed as the Kings struggled to chase Duronto Rajshahi's 107 in the elimination final. But the team will certainly take advantage of the winning mentality he instilled during the seven matches he was in charge.
Shakib Al Hasan
12 matches, 329 runs, average 32.90, two 50s, wickets 15, economy-rate 6.21
In a Dhaka Gladiators line-up that is studded with Twenty20 stars, Shakib still stood out even if he had limited opportunities with the bat. He often had to bail out the batting line-up with considered knocks, but this BPL campaign was mostly about his bowling. Shakib tended to bowl the required quiet four-over spell, as the batsmen struggled to get him away. He conceded less than a run a ball in four games. On each of those occasions, the Gladiators walked out winners. His rapid 41 in the final was vital, along with the 38 he made in the race to the final game against the Royals. These performances were enough for the organisers to judge him as the Man-of-the-Tournament.
Mushfiqur Rahim, captain and wicketkeeper
13 matches, 440 runs, average 40.00, three 50s
He was consistent with the bat throughout, scoring important runs and not minding where he batted, as he finished as the season's highest run-scorer. In the latter part of the competition, Mushfiqur had to anchor the innings right till the end as Paul Stirling, Hamilton Masakadza and Shivnarine Chanderpaul were inconsistent. He was also good enough to be among the late-order hitters, striking the ball almost as long as he did hard. There can always be a debate whether Taylor was the better captain in the tournament, but to carry an underdog like Sylhet Royals all the way to the second semifinal took some doing. Mushfiqur praised coach Mohammad Salahuddin for a balanced dressing-room, but it was still he who led where and when it mattered.
Ryan ten Doeschate
13 matches, 432 runs, average 43.2, three 50s
The Kings needed one batsman to take charge, and after Brendon Taylor left that responsibility was taken by Ryan ten Doeschate. Ten Doeschate finished as the second highest run-scorer of the tournament. The form of Ravi Bopara had initially led to ten Doeschate being benched, which seems almost improbable when you consider how successful he was for the team. Ten Doeschate held firm, and in the crucial moments, his stylish shots came out readily when required. Even when wickets were falling at the other end, and he was struggling with his timing, ten Doeschate had an answer: case in point, the second semifinal against the Sylhet Royals, when he struck a vital 44 off 28 balls to steer the Kings home, and into the BPL final.
12 matches, 276 runs, average 27.60, three 50s, 19 wickets, economy-rate 6.71
He tweeted his regret at missing out on the Man-of-the-Tournament award just after Shakib walked away with the car, but it had indeed been a stellar tournament for Mahmood. Much of what Barisal Burners did this year revolved around him, their captain Hodge and youngster Sabbir Rahman. Mahmood's runs came at a fair clip, though the average was low by his standards. His wickets however, were more important as the Burners had neither the firepower nor the guile to defend small totals. He provided accuracy and skill to take wickets and kept his faltering side afloat through the tournament.
12 matches, 20 wickets, economy-rate 6.79
Thomas could have finished the BPL with a hat-trick if it wasn't for Enamul Haque jnr's drive to sweeper cover for a couple of runs. It was the only time Thomas was thwarted in the final, where he took a three-wicket haul. He hardly gave many runs away in this tournament, yet none of his performances were particularly magnificent. He did just enough, especially at the death where he was tough to get away. Thomas also became the second bowler in Twenty20 history to take more than 200 wickets.
14 matches, 17 wickets, economy-rate 6.83
Gazi could have classified himself as a new-ball bowler; such was the number of times he opened for the Sylhet Royals against the oppositions' biggest hitters. And he was successful. Most of his 17 wickets came in the first spell, with Mushfiqur Rahim using him wisely up front, and then right at the end, where he sometimes struggled to keep shape. Gazi improved tremendously as an offspinner, and was vital to the Royals' impressive run in the tournament.
12 matches, 17 wickets, economy-rate 6.40
His 3 for 26 in the final changed the course of the game completely. Chittagong Kings were in visible comfort during their chase when he removed ten Doeschate to an attempted cut shot. But that was not all; he kept it tight thereafter, making things easier for the other spinners. This has been a fruitful tournament for Mosharraf, a left-arm spinner who has been around for a long time in domestic cricket. He was picked regularly by the Dhaka Gladiators, and performed well throughout. He finished with 17 wickets, but could have had a few more, had the Gladiators' fielders held catches off his bowling.
Enamul Haque jnr
15 matches, 18 wickets, economy-rate 6.20
Chittagong Kings would have had a difficult BPL campaign had it not been for Enamul Haque jnr's wickets. He struck regularly, and also began to lead the attack. After Shakib, he is Bangladesh's best left-arm spinner. He doesn't enjoy the Twenty20 version too much, but did well in the last BPL (he took 13 wickets) and can now add another 18 wickets in this tournament. He is the leading wicket-taker after two editions, and without his calm overs, the Kings wouldn't have progressed to the last four, let alone the final.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondentFeeds: Mohammad Isam
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