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Cumilla prevails in see-saw battle to stay alive in BBPL play-off

DHAKA Cumilla Warriors held their nerve in crunch moment to script a two-wicket win over mighty Chattogram Challengers in a Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BBPL) game that saw a nail-biting finish at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium here today.

By virtue of this victory, Cumilla kept them alive in the play-off berth with six points in eight matches. Chattogram though sits atop of the point table despite conceding a defeat, Rajahahi may overtake them when they take on Rangpur Rangers in the match latter today under the lights at the same ground.

Being sent to bat first, Chattogram was held back to 159-6 and Cumilla reached the victory mark by making 161-8 in the last ball of the game.

The match, however, went down the wire despite it looked an inform Dawid Malan would make it a cake-walk for Cumilla. Malan who smashed 51 ball-74 with five fours and four sixes was trapped run out in the penultimate delivery, leaving Cumilla a requirement of three runs in the last delivery.

Mujeeb-ur-Rahman held the never impeccably and flicked a low full toss delivery of Liam Plunkett past deep square-leg for boundary and ensured Cumilla's long-waiting victory.

Malan held together the innings after Stiaan van Zyl provided a quick start. But van Zyl's dismissal after 12 ball-22, saw a collapse which Malan stalled and kept the side flowing.

When Malan looked unfazed by all kind of bowling attack, Chattogram quietly ripped through the Cumilla's middle order as Soumya Sarkar (6), Sabbir Rahman (18) and David Wiese (1) failed to give Malan support.

Pacer Rubel Hossain mainly wrecked havoc with a splendid bowling that saw him finishing four overs quota, claiming 2-16.

However the much-needed support came surprisingly from Abu Haider Rony. With 16 runs requiring to win in the last over, Rony launched spectacular attack on Plunkett to hit a six and boundary in consecutive deliveries to bring down the equation to 4 off 2 balls.

As it looked it was Cumilla's game, drama unfolded as Malan was trapped run-out, trying to steal two runs. But Mujeeb-ur-Rahman finally made it Cumilla's day after a see-saw battle.

Chattogram Challengers failed to capitalize on the start provided by the openers and restricted for a total that always looked below par.

Opener Lendl Simmons and Junaid Siddique combined for a 103-run partnership in just 12th overs to give an indication of making a big total.

The dismissal of Simmons for 34 ball-54 at the hands of Soumya Sarkar sparked a sensational collapse.

Simmons struck five fours and two sixes in his knock, which was highest for Chattogram.

In the next over, his fellow opener Junaid Siddique was trapped run-out for 45 after hitting six fours in 37 deliveries.

The middle order combined with Chadwick Walton (9), Ryan Burl (2) and Nurul Hasan Sohan (4) fell for single-digit figure to ruin the start.

Sohan led the side in absence of Imrul Kayes who couldn't play due to his sickness and got dismissed at a moment when his service was badly needed.

As it looked, Chattogram could be held back for below 150, their Afghanistan recruit Zia-ur-Rahman blasted 21 ball-34 not out with four sixes to give the bowlers something to defend.

Soumya Sarkar was the wrecker-in-chief with 2-20 in four overs while Al-Amin Hossain, Sunzamul Islam and David Wiese took one wicket apiece.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)