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Liton, Hridoy trump Neesham to take Comilla to BPL final

BI Desk || BusinessInsider

Published: 01:16, 27 February 2024  
Liton, Hridoy trump Neesham to take Comilla to BPL final

Photo: Collected

Captain Liton Das and Towhid Hridoy hit fifties as Comilla Victorians overcame a James Neesham scare to beat Rangpur Riders by six wickets in the first Qualifier of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Monday.

Having won the game, Comilla made the BPL final straightway and kept them on course of a hat-trick title, reports BSS.

Rangpur now will take on Fortune Barishal, which won the Eliminator game earlier today, beating Chattogram Challengers by seven wickets-- in the Qualifier-2 on Wednesday for a spot in the final.

Neesham blasted a 49 ball-97 not out, including 28 runs in the last over to steer Rangpur to 185-6 after a shaky start but his effort went in vain as the brilliance of Liton and Hridoy helped Comilla overhaul the target with nine balls to spare.

Liton hammered 57 ball-83 with nine fours and four sixes while Hridoy smote five fours and four sixes for his 64 off 43. The duo put on match-winning 143-run for the second wicket after Comilla lost Sunil Narine in the first ball of the chase.

Afghanistan pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi playing his first match for Rangpur gave the breakthrough much to the delight of the fans but it was short-lived.

The duo counterattacked in style on a good batting pitch although offered some chances, which Rangpur fielders couldn't hold on.

When Abu Haider Rony broke through with the wicket of Hridoy, the fate of the game was almost sealed.

Liton looked to be set for his century before Mahedi Hasan removed him while Farooqi got the better of Johson Charles to end with 2-27.

Moeen Ali with 12 not out and Andre Russell (2*) signed off the game without any fuss to make sure Comilla will confirm the final as the first team.

After being asked to bat first, Rony Talukder hit Rohanat Doullah Borson, who made BPL debut, boundary twice to hint a rapid start. However left-arm spinner Tanvir Islam removed Shamim Patwari for a duck in the second over before Borson got rid of Rony (13) to peg back the innings.

Andre Russell got the prized scalp of Shakib Al Hasan (5) to leave Rangpur a precarious 27-3 and the situation further worsened when Narine took out Mahedi after he made 22. Narine's (4-0-11-1) economical bowling was key in stifling Rangpur in the middle overs.

Musfik Hasan joined the party with the wicket of Nicholas Pooran for 14 but Neesham kept hitting all the thing coming to him to keep the scoreboard ticking.

He finally got the support from skipper Nurul Hasan Sohan as the duo shared 53-run for the sixth wicket.

Russel who finished with 2-37, dismissed Sohan for 30 in the penultimate over with the scoreboard reading 157-6.

Musfik came to bowl the last over and Neesham bludgeoned for 28 runs in the last over to make the scoreboard quite healthy and forced Musfik conceding 72 runs in four overs, the worst figure by a bowler in BPL history.

Neesham who missed his maiden T20 ton after failing to connect the last ball properly smashed eight fours and seven sixes for his 49 ball-97 not out. But at the end, his valiant was not enough to seal the deal.