Tamim Iqbal, one of Bangladesh’s leading batsmen, almost single-handedly powered Comilla Victorians to their second BPL title, defeating a brave Dhaka Dynamites by 17 runs in Friday’s final.
It was the second loss in the BPL final for the Dynamites, who had finished fourth in the log. The Dynamites won the toss and inserted second-placed Comilla Victorians into bat, a decision which seemed to backfire as the Victorians powered their way to 98-2 after 12 overs.
Iqbal was enjoying the form of his life, carting the bowling to all corners as he scored his third T20 century and his highest T20 score, smashing 11 sixes and 10 fours as he raced to 141 not out off just 61 balls. His innings was the joint 15th highest individual innings in T20 history, and came at an astonishing strike rate of 231.14 runs per 100 balls.
Iqbal added an unbroken stand of 100 for the fourth wicket with skipper Imrul Kayes, the latter contributing just 17 runs off 21 balls (1×6) as the opener let loose on the Dynamites’ bowling to take his side to an imposing score of 199-3 off their 20 overs.
In response, Upul Tharanga (48 of 27 balls, 4×4, 3×6, S/R 177.77) and Rony Talukdar (66 off 38 balls, 6×4, 4×6, S/R 173.68) added 102 for the second wicket in under nine overs to keep the Dynamites ahead of the run rate, but the pressure told as they lost three wickets for 12 runs in 14 balls to swing the balance back in favour of the Victorians.
Wahab Riaz (3-28, econ 7.00), Thisara Perera (2-35) and Mohammad Saifuddin (2-38) played their part to put the squeeze on the Dynamite batsmen, and earned their side a 17-run victory for a second Bangladesh Premier League title.
‘Tamim is a great player, showed his character today, his knock will be remembered for a long time,’ said Imrul Kayes. ‘We were worried after the first powerplay, but through the middle overs Thisara Perera and Wahab Riaz did very well.’
‘Throughout the tournament I had starts, but couldn’t go on, guess I was saving my best for the last.’ said Iqbal when collecting his Player of the Match award. ‘Fantastic wicket – at one point 200 was looking small – but we knew we were only a couple of wickets away.’
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