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Mohammad Saifuddin holds his nerve as Comilla Victorians edge home in close finish

Mohammad Saifuddin picked up four wickets Raton Gomes/BCB

Comilla Victorians 127 (Tamim 38, Rubel 4-30) beat Dhaka Dynamites 126 for 9 (Pollard 34, Russell 30*, Saifuddin 4-22) by one run

How the game played out

The Bangladesh Premier League returned to Dhaka after the Chattogram leg of matches, pitting Comilla Victorians against Dhaka Dynamites in what turned out to be a low-scoring, well-contested affair.

Chasing 128 for victory, the Dynamites stuttered at the start, with Mahedi Hasan sending back Upul Tharanga and Shakib Al Hasan as they slipped to 29 for 4.

The revival was scripted by the Caribbean trio of Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell, who couldn't quite break free like they can but still scored at a healthy clip. The Victorians, however, kept the wickets coming, and pulled off a narrow win when Russell could only squeeze a Mohammad Saifuddin yorker for four when a six was needed.

Earlier, asked to bat first, the Victorians put up only 127, bowled out off the last ball of the innings. Opener Tamim Iqbal was the best of the batsmen on show as he scored 38 from 20 balls, even as wickets fell all around him.

Shahid Afridi knocked the ball around for 18 from No. 6 but the Victorians looked set to fold in the vicinity of 100 when Thisara Perera became the eighth man out with 87 on the board. Fortunately for the Victorians, No. 9 Mahedi and No. 10 Wahab Riaz made useful contributions, 20 and 16 respectively, to take them to a competitive score.

Rubel Hossain picked up four wickets for the Dynamites, while Narine and Shakib got two apiece.

Turning points

  • At 87 for 8, with no frontline batsman having survived long enough to be around with the tail, the Victorians looked down and out. But Mahedi and Riaz first lugged the team past 100 and then added runs that proved crucial in the end.

  • With Pollard and Russell in the middle, it could have gone away from the Victorians rather quickly, but they stuck to the task and Saifuddin cashed in, sending Pollard and Nurul Hasan back off consecutive deliveries.

  • When the penultimate over of the chase started, the Dynamites needed 20 runs. Second ball, Riaz had Russell holing out to third man, but it was a no-ball. End of story? Not quite, as Riaz came back to concede just eight runs from the over and send back Shuvagata Hom to leave Saifuddin with 11 to defend.

Star of the day

Saifuddin has been among the wickets right through the BPL season, and put in what turned in what proved to be his career-best T20 performance to date - 4 for 22. He struck early, with Rony Talukdar's wicket, then sent back Pollard and Nurul at a crucial juncture before holding his nerve against Russell to bowl an excellent yorker off the last ball.

The big miss

Shakib Al Hasan bowling to Wahab Riaz - the odds would usually be on the former trumping the latter. On the day, though, in the 17th over of the Victorians' innings, it was Riaz calling the shots. The second ball was smashed down the ground for six, and the fourth ball, tossed up outside off, got the same treatment. That over might have taken the game beyond the Dynamites' reach.

Where the teams stand

The Victorians are right on top of the pile with 16 points from 11 games following their eighth win, while the Dynamites are at the wrong end of the table, third from bottom. At ten points with one match remaining, the Dynamites need a victory over last place Khulna Titans to steal the fourth and final playoff spot from Rajshahi Kings.

Dynamites 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st6WU TharangaMizanur Rahman
2nd11Rony TalukdarMizanur Rahman
3rd0Shakib Al HasanRony Talukdar
4th12Shakib Al HasanSP Narine
5th42SP NarineKA Pollard
6th19KA PollardAD Russell
7th0AD RussellNurul Hasan
8th22AD RussellShuvagata Hom
9th4AD RussellRubel Hossain
10th10Shahadat HossainAD Russell

Bangladesh Premier League

TeamMWLPTNRR
RR1284161.018
CV1284160.066
CHV127514-0.293
DD1266120.974
RK126612-0.518
SS1257100.066
KT122104-1.259
BB00000