Comilla Victorians v Chittagong Vikings, BPL, Dhaka November 24, 2015

Mashrafe pulls it off - with the bat

Comilla Victorians 177 for 3 (Samuels 69*, Mashrafe 56*) beat Chittagong Vikings 176 for 4 (Ziaur 39, Anamul 39*) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Mashrafe Mortaza proved a matchwinner with the other side of his game © Raton Gomes/BCB

Comilla Victorians needed their captain Mashrafe Mortaza to do the extraordinary - with the bat - to record their first win in the BPL. They beat Chittagong Vikings by seven wickets with Mohammad Amir unable to produce any heroics as Mashrafe and Marlon Samuels added 123 runs for the unbroken fourth wicket stand.

When he struck the winning runs in the penultimate over with a boundary squeezed past third-man, Mashrafe ran in unbridled joy, the sort you would see from a bowler who has just done a match-winning job with the bat. After giving him the bear-hug, his team-mates helped him out of his helmet, pad and gloves too.

Mashrafe ended with an unbeaten 56 off 32 balls with four fours and two sixes while Samuels remained with him to the end with 69 off 52 deliveries and helped return Mashrafe's bat to him which had been thrown away in excitement. Samuels' innings was always going to be crucial but the partnership was more important, especially because of how Comilla started with the bat.

They started their chase by losing Imrul Kayes to the fourth ball and Liton Das in the third over, both falling to Amir. Suddenly it was Shuvagata Hom who took charge of the situation, going after Taskin Ahmed and Shafiul Islam for four boundaries and a couple of sixes over square leg and mid-off. His 16-ball 30 helped Comilla keep their initial thrust intact, but he fell in the eighth over, when Tillakaratne Dilshan ran back from point to take a superb catch.

Then out came Mashrafe, promoting himself to No. 5 in a bid to keep up with the required run-rate which was nearing the 10-an-over mark at that time. His first attempt at a big shot was over midwicket in the tenth over. He found sixes over long-off and even over the cover boundary off Saeed Ajmal and one over midwicket. Ajmal conceded 20 in the 14th over as he also gifting away five wides.

Having been dropped twice by Asif Ahmed and Chamara Kapugedera in the 12th and 15th over at long-off, Mashrafe reached his highest score in T20s in the 16th over with a straight driven four off Taskin, beating his previous best of 36 he made against Zimbabwe in Bangladesh's first-ever T20 in 2006. The next ball, he tipped the ball past the keeper for his third four.

Earlier, the exclamation point of the Chittagong innings was the 19th over in which Ziaur Rahman dispatched Abu Hider for three sixes and a four. He launched the first six over the bowler's head, the next two over midwicket and square-leg. He struck just one boundary in the last over as he ended up on 39 off 16 balls. The final charge revived Chittagong after they slowed down following a fast start.

Tamim Iqbal didn't get a third consecutive fifty but he added 63 for the first wicket with Dilshan, who fell in the eighth over for 36 off 21 balls with a six and six fours, three of which came in the first over of the match. Tamim struck a couple of sixes in his 31-ball 33 before he holed out to long-off off Ashar Zaidi. Kapugedera fell in the 11th over for a duck before Yasir Ali was gone in the 16th, making it 123 for 4. Anamul was there at the other end, remaining unbeaten on 39 off 30 balls.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments