Cumilla Warriors won a cliffhanger against the League leader Chattogram Challengers by two wickets in the ongoing Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BBPL) at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.
It was Warriors' third win in eight games while Challengers top the table after winning six matches out of nine.
Warriors needed 16 runs to win in the last over bowled by England bowler Liam Plunkett. Dawid Malan took a single in the first ball before Abu Hider Rony smashed 10 in the next two balls while one run was added to the total through a bye in the fourth ball.
Malan was run-out in the fifth ball but one run was scored. With three needed on the last ball, Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman struck a four to seal the game for the Warriors.
Sunzamul Islam was about to enter the field to face the last ball. But the team management of the Warriors called him back and sent Mujeeb to face the last ball. Later, Sunzamul was declared retired-out.
Replying to Challengers' 159, Warriors scored 30 runs in the opening stand. South African Stiaan van Zyl scored 22 while Robiul Islam Robi posted 17 runs.
Captain Dawid Malan came out to bat at number three and took control of the game. He smashed 74 from 51 balls with five fours and four sixes to his name. His knock was instrumental in getting his team close to the finish-line. He was adjudged man of the match for his effort.
Abu Hider played a pivotal role with his timely 12 runs from 8 balls that enabled Warriors to win the game in the end.
National pacer Rubel Hossain bagged two wickets conceding 16 runs in four overs while Mehedi Hasan Rana, Liam Plunkett, Ziaur Rahman and Ryan Burl took one wickets each.
Earlier, Warriors won the toss and opted to bowl first. It seemed like Challengers would post a massive total as their openers Lendl Simmons and Junaid Siddique dominated the proceedings and racked up 103 runs in 11.3 overs. Incidentally, it was the second 100-plus opening stand in the BBPL.
Simmons was dismissed by Soumya Sarkar after scoring 54 off 34 with five fours and two sixes. Junaid was run-out by Mujeeb for 45 from 37 balls. The middle-order batters of Challengers failed to capitalize the flying start and lost wickets at a regular interval.
In a span of 13 runs, Challengers lost four wickets along with the openers. Chadwick Walton and Ryan Burl fell for nine and two runs respectively. Wicketkeeper-batsman Nurul Hasan came at number five but failed to fire as he was sent back with four runs to his name.
However, Bangladesh domestic stalwart Ziaur Rahman stopped the rot by scoring 34 from 21 balls with four hits over the fence that helped the Challengers post 159 for six in 20 overs.
Soumya Sarkar bagged two wickets conceding 20 runs in four overs while Al Amin Hossain, Sunzamul Islam and David Wiese took one wickets each.
Challengers will take on Khulna Tigers on January 4 in their next match at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium while the Warriors will face off against Sylhet Thunder on January 2 at the same venue.
Source: United News of Bangladesh