Comilla beat Sylhet to reach final

Players of Comilla Victorians celebrates after taking a wicket during a BPL match against Sylhet Sunrisers at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on 9 February, 2022Prothom Alo

Comilla Victorians became the first team to reach the final of the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League as they beat Sylhet Strikers by four wickets in the first qualifier on Sunday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.

Chasing a moderate 125, posted by Sylhet, Comilla opener Sunil Narine gave a blistering start with a 39 off just 18 but the side lost few wickets in the middle before reaching the target in the 17th over of the innings.

After the dismissal of Narine, who got out as the second batter when the score was 48 in the fifth over, Johnson Charles was run out for four and skipper Imrul Kayes got dismissed for 13.

However, Mosaddek Hossain and Moeen Ali seemed to be cruising to the target before Sylhet pacer Rubel Hossain made a double strike to dismiss Moeen and Jaker Ali in the same over to reduce Comilla to 107-6.

Sylhet got a brilliant chance to get rid of dangerous Andre Russell when he top edged a mistimed sweep but wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim ran a long way backwards before spilling the catch.

Reprieved Russell struck two sixes against Rubel, who returned with three wickets, in the next over to seal the match.

Earlier in the day, after losing the toss the table topper of the group stage Sylhet showed a dismal batting performance getting bundled out for 125 in 17.1 overs.

Sylhet opener Shafiqullah Ghaffari got out for just five but the side got the biggest setback when in form Towhid Hridoy was dismissed without scoring any run.

Towhid, who has scored 378 from 10 matches as the highest scorer of ongoing BPL, was eager to get off the mark and ran for an impossible single pushing the ball to cover. As the non-striker denied his call he tried to get back to the crease without being successful.

Another in-form Zakir Hasan soon followed him with just two and Sylhet skipper Mashrafe promoted him in the batting order to salvage the situation.

The move seemed effective as he scored 26 off 17 and added 56 with Najmul Hassan (38 off 29) but both them got dismissed in quick succession to see half of their side get out for 78.

Mushfiqur Rahim scored 29 off 22 but did not get much support from the other end and the side failed even to play the full 20 overs.

Andre Russell, Tanvir Islam and Mustafizur Rahman got two wickets apiece while Sunine Narine got one wicket giving away just eight runs from 3.1 overs.