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BPL week four: Comilla and Rangpur dominate but Dhaka crash out

Towhid Hridoy, Imran Tahir and Will Jacks were some of the standout performers in week four of the BPL

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
15-Feb-2024
Towhid Hridoy was in stunning form for Comilla Victorians  •  BCB

Towhid Hridoy was in stunning form for Comilla Victorians  •  BCB

Rangpur Riders, Comilla Victorians and Fortune Barishal went through the fourth week of the BPL unbeaten, with Rangpur continuing to top the points table. Comilla are level on points with Rangpur, but behind on net run-rate. Sylhet Strikers also won their only outing this week, but Chattogram Challengers, Durdanto Dhaka and Khulna Tigers lost all their games. Dhaka, with just one win in the competition, are out of the running for the knockouts. Here are some of the highlights from the week gone by.

Hridoy, Jacks, Shakib, Tahir put in starring performances

Comilla began and ended the week with contrasting chases. Towhid Hridoy was superb in both games, making unbeaten scores of 108 and 91. Comilla aced a 176-run chase against Dhaka with a ball remaining. Hridoy, not quite showing his form from the last season till that point, smashed the tournament's first century while the others failed around him. His unbeaten 108 came off just 57 balls.
Then, Hridoy's 91 not out helped Comilla chase down 164 against Khulna, which they did with seven wickets and 21 balls to spare. Between these two wins, Will Jacks' century helped Comilla equal BPL's highest total when they made 239-3 in their big win against Chattogram.
Jacks blasted ten sixes in his 108* off 53 balls, while Litton Das also scored a quick half-century. Moeen Ali struck a quick fifty and then finished off the Chattogram innings with a hat-trick. There was also enough time in the match for legspinner Rishad Hossain to take his maiden four-wicket haul. There was no such luck for Chattogram's Al-Amin Hossain, who conceded 69 runs in his four overs, the most by any bowler in BPL history.
Later in the same day, Rangpur crushed Khulna by 78 runs, racking up 219 for 5 batting first. Shakib Al Hasan and Mahedi Hasan blasted fifties before Imran Tahir took a five-wicket haul, the first by a legspinner in the BPL. Alex Hales also struck a quickfire 60, but he was fighting a lone battle.
Tahir apart, Rangpur's other new recruits Reeza Hendricks and Jimmy Neesham also gave them strong performances in their 53-run win against Chattogram.
The likes of Soumya Sarkar, Mahmudullah and Tamim Iqbal struck fifties to get Barishal important wins against Dhaka this week. Khulna, however, crashed and burned. After winning their first four games in a row, they have now lost five consecutively.

Batter of the week - Towhid Hridoy

Towhid Hridoy has had one of those dream weeks, having struck an unbeaten century and an unbeaten 91 this week. Both came in chases for Comilla, and he kept his cool throughout both knocks. Particularly against Dhaka, when Comilla were in trouble after a regular fall of wickets. Hridoy played gorgeous shots, particularly his whips and hoicks through midwicket; his cover-driving when in full flow is good to watch too.

Bowler of the week - Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir has added the fun element to the BPL after his late arrival. He had come after completing his SA20 assignments - it's his first time playing in the tournament in Bangladesh. Tahir took just one wicket in his first game, but then followed it with a five-wicket haul. His celebrations have really struck a chord with the fans in Dhaka and Chattogram, and Rangpur will hope he plays a big role in the latter part of the tournament.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84