Mahmudullah, seamers rout Chittagong
Barisal Bulls 170 for 7 (Mahmudullah 51, Amir 2-20) beat Chittagong Vikings 137 (Naeem 38, Cooper 3-28) by 33 runs
Barisal Bulls' batting revival came at the perfect time for them, although it was not quite so for Chittagong Vikings who were crushed at their home ground by 33 runs. Mahmudullah, Seekkuge Prasanna and Mehedi Maruf played without fear, on a good pitch to pile on 170 for 7, which was more then enough for their bowlers.
While Chittagong slipped to their fourth loss in five matches, Barisal put up their third win in four matches and did so only after overcoming some stutters.
The start of the Barisal innings was a grim reminder of how they got bowled out for 108 and 89 in their last two innings. Evin Lewis, Rony Talukdar and Sabbir Rahman all fell lbw to leave the score at 12 for 3 in the third over. Maruf, playing in his first match of this campaign, mounted resistance when he whacked Enamul Haque jnr's full toss for a straight six. Then he paddled Elton Chigumbura over the square leg boundary, a shot that stood out among the nine sixes and eight fours in the innings. But Maruf was dismissed in the 10th over for a bright 28 off 25 balls, and Barisal slipped again when Nadif Chowdhury was the fourth leg-before victim in the 12th over.
Mahmudullah and Prasanna ensured there wasn't a lull in the scoring though and eventually they started hitting sixes almost at will. Their partnership for the sixth wicket provided 61 runs in 33 balls.
Prasanna bashed Ziaur Rahman for two sixes over midwicket and Mahmudullah smashed Enamul over long-on. With runs leaking and pressure mounting, Chittagong played a hand in their own undoing. Ziaur and Naeem Islam, at long-off and long-on, dropped Prasanna and parried the ball on both occasions for sixes in the 16th over. The second instance was a no-ball as well. Prasanna was finally dismissed for 36 off 20 balls, after hitting a four and four sixes. A measure of Barisal's misfiring batting until this match was that this partnership was only their second fifty-plus stand in the competition.
Mahmudullah pushed on and made his second half-century in the competition. He was caught behind at the end of a nine-ball over by Chigumbura, who conceded 16 and 22 in his two overs, not to mention the four wides and a no-ball. All of them added up to a total that became too much to chase.
Chittagong's reply would have depended heavily on their top order but Al-Amin Hossain dealt a major blow when he had Tamim Iqbal caught at mid-on. Kamran Akmal, playing his first BPL game this season, was run out after he ran wide of the crease and then failed to drag his bat in the third over. Mohammad Sami then took an excellent catch at mid-on to get rid of Dilshan who made 19.
Al-Amin struck again in the sixth over, drawing Anamul's leading edge which was easily taken at point. In came Chigumbura, with his team at 40 for 4 before the Powerplay was even done, and his day only got worse as he was caught behind after making 5 off 11 balls.
When Ziaur was caught at long-on off Sami in the 14th over, Chittagong's chase was all but over. They were 77 for 6, with only the tail to rely on to handle an equation that read 94 needed off 37 balls. Naeem Islam was the only notable contribution - 38 off 40 balls. Kevon Cooper ended up with three wickets to take him to second place among the top wicket-takers in the BPL so far, while Al-Amin took 2 for 34.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84