Comilla Victorians falter after bossing early stages

Mohammad Saifuddin celebrates a wicket Raton Gomes/BCB

Tournament review

Comilla Victorians were the underdogs who became champions in 2015; they were the under-performing defending champions in 2016; this year, they ended up as the worst-performing playoff team though they were the table-toppers in the league stage.

They had depth in the squad that most of the other BPL franchises envied, which gave them the luxury to rotate whenever they wanted. Rashid Khan's early departure hurt them, but they did win a few games without him; however, a bowler of his quality would have certainly made the difference against Dhaka Dynamites and Rangpur Riders in the two qualifiers.

With a motto that stressed on nothing but winning, this BPL campaign would be a disappointing one. They effectively finished third behind Dhaka and Rangpur, who are the other big spenders in the league. If this is the way to go in the BPL, then Comilla were on the right path. But they are not in the final.

There were plenty of positives for them, though. Perhaps a less stringent method may be the way to go for Comilla next time, because in BPL, as it is in cricket, winning is not always everything.

What worked

Six of their batsmen scored more than 200 runs, with Tamim Iqbal and Marlon Samuels getting over the 300-run mark and Imrul Kayes making 299. Five of their bowlers got at least 10 wickets with Hasan Ali and Mohammad Saifuddin getting 16 scalps each. But it was Rashid whose 4.46 runs per over across seven games was a standout performance.

What didn't work

Some may say that Liton Das and Kayes didn't perform up to standards but they have also won Comilla some games. If a bowler had have stepped up to take Rashid's place when he left, he could have given them the edge in the playoffs.

Tips for 2018

Comilla had at least two players for every position, so there was certainly a "problem of plenty" for them this season. If they trim the squad slightly, they could have a more focused selection of XIs.