Narine knocks out Vikings to keep Dynamites alive
A stellar all-round performance from Sunil Narine rekindled Dhaka Dynamites’ hope to clinch the coveted BPL trophy as they overcame the first hurdle towards the final, thrashing Chittagong Vikings by six wickets in the Eliminator game on Monday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
Narine snapped up four for just 15 in a measly bowling effort which restricted Chittagong for a meagre 135 for eight after which the Caribbean stalwart gave the side an impetus with 16 ball-31 runs. Riding on his impressive start, complemented by Upul Tharanga’s well-composed 43 ball-51, Dhaka ran amok in Chittagong’s bowling line up to overhaul the target with 20 balls to spare.
Dhaka will take on the loser between the Rangpur Riders and Comilla Victorians on Wednesday in the second Qualifier Game. Before winning two matches in a row including this Eliminator game, Dhaka lost five matches out of six. Captain Shakib believed those two latest victories would shift the momentum towards them.
“We have won back to back matches so the momentum is with us and whoever loses the first qualifier will lose momentum,” said Shakib, being confident about their chance to move into the final of BPL.
Chittagong’s decision to bat first in the crucial game seemed to be paid a rich dividend when their top order kept the side in good stead despite an early dismissal of opener Yasir Ali (8). Cameron Delport and Shadman Islam serenely drove the side in a position of dominance until a smart fielding of Quazi Anik caused Delport’s run-out.
Delport by then made 36 off 27 with five fours and one six. Despite the dismissal of Delport, Chittagong was in good position but it was Narine whose impressive spell then tilted the momentum towards Dhaka. He first broke through with the wicket of Mushfiqur Rahim (8) with a tossed up delivery and it proved to be fatal for Chittagong considering the fact that he is the best and in-form batsman of the side.
Narine then left Chittagong in a troublesome situation, by taking out Shadman Islam who was brimming with confidence despite the dismissal of Mushfiqur Rahim. Shadman struck two fours and one six in his 24 off 19.
Those two wickets effectively pegged back Chittagong innings, leaving them at 86 for four in 12th over. Narine however not only took those two wickets in crucial moments but also stemmed the run flow, much to the disappointment of the Chittagong fans. Mosaddek Hossain Saikat battled lonely but Dhaka bowlers didn’t let loose the baton, striking at regular intervals with Narine at the fore.
Mosaddek was dismissed in the penultimate delivery after scoring team’s highest 40 off 35, clobbering three fours and one six. The target was easier and it became much easier when Narine gave the side a whirlwind start. Narine made a mockery with Chittagong bowlers right from the words go and Dhaka made 44 in just 4.1 overs before pacer Khaled Ahmed got the better of him in his first over.
Of those 44, Narine himself blasted 31 off 16 with six fours and one six. His fellow opener Upul Tharanga by then got him settled in the wicket and he shared further 44 runs with Rony Talukdar to make the game one-way traffic.
Pacer Khaled was impressive and dealt a double blow, dismissing Rony (20) and Shakib Al Hasan for nought in consecutive deliveries. But it hardly mattered as Dhaka by then were in a safe position. Nayeem Hasan removed Tharaga after he reached fifty and scored 51 off 43, sending the ball across the rope for seven times. But the victory was in the touching distance. Nurul Hasan Sohan and Keiron Pollard completed the inevitable batting patiently with Sohan being unbeaten on 20 and Pollard was on 7.