Comilla Victorians dominated Rangpur Riders in their final match of the league phase of the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) on Friday, securing a decisive 70-run victory in Mirpur.
Victorians’ victory in their final league phase has solidified their position in second place on the points table. As a result, they will face off against the Sylhet Strikers in the first qualifier on February 12.
On the same day, Rangpur Riders will face Fortune Barishal, the third and fourth team in the points table, in the eliminator. The outcome of this match will determine which team will be eliminated from the competition. The winner of the first qualifier will proceed to the final on February 16, while the loser will have to compete in the second qualifier against the winner of the eliminator. The team that emerges victorious from the second qualifier will then advance to the final to compete against the winner of the first qualifier.
In Friday's match, the opening duo of the Comilla Victorians, Mohammad Rizwan and Litton Das, got off to a strong start, contributing 43 runs to the first wicket before Rizwan was dismissed for 24. Despite this setback, Litton was firm in the middle.
Sunil Narine came to the crease with high expectations, but he was unable to convert his start and was dismissed for just 8 runs. This was a major setback for the team, and the pressure was on to find a new source of runs.
However, Liton was quick to step up and took control of the situation, scoring 47 runs off 33 balls with three fours and as many sixes. Despite his strong effort, he was unable to carry on. Skipper Imrul Kayes and Jaker Ali then took over the responsibility of keeping the scorecard ticking, scoring 19 and 34 runs, respectively. The star of the show for Victorians was undoubtedly Khushdil Shah, who remained not out on a remarkable 40 runs off just 20 balls, hitting 2 fours and 3 sixes. This innings was instrumental in posting a challenging total for the Victorians.
Comilla finished their innings on a strong note, scoring 177/5 in 20 overs.
For the Riders, Azmatullah Omarzai took two wickets, conceding 34 runs.
Rangpur Riders had a rough start in their pursuit of 178 runs, as opener Mohammad Naim was dismissed for just 6 runs. Rony Talukdar and Rahmanullah Gurbaz attempted to steady the innings, but both fell short with scores of 13 and 29 runs respectively.
Despite the efforts of Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Nurul Hasan, and Shamim Hossain, Rangpur Riders struggled with the bat and were eventually all out for 107 runs in 17 overs.
The bowlers for Comilla Victorians, however, put in a fantastic performance. Tanvir Islam took 2 wickets, while Narine and Mustafizur Rahman took 2 and 3 wickets respectively. Andre Russell also contributed with 1 wicket to secure a decisive 70-run victory for Comilla Victorians.