Tharanga stars once again as Sylhet make it two from two

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Sylhet Sixers overcame a middle-order collapse right at the death of a tricky chase to register a thrilling four-wicket win over Comilla Victorians in the third match of the Bangladesh Premier League. Sylhet had their openers to thank for the second successive day as both Upul Tharanga and Andre Fletcher laid the ideal platform in a chase of 146 on Sunday (November 5).

While Tharanga started with a couple of boundaries in the first over, Fletcher slammed a four and a six off Mohammad Nabi in the following over to signal his intentions. Fletcher took a liking to Al-Amin Hossain’s bowling as the right-hander fetched three fours and a six in total off his bowling. Rashid Khan’s introduction in the powerplay didn’t help matters. Tharanga used his feet to hit the legspinner over cover to bring up the fifty-run partnership and in the same over, he sent the youngster into the stands to stamp his authority.

With the duo knocking off half of the runs needed for the win, Dwayne Bravo finally made the breakthrough with a slower delivery that was mistimed to the cover by Fletcher. Comilla applied the brakes after the wicket and that resulted in the required rate going up again. With Sabbir Rahman and Upul Tharanga also departing soon after, the game was interestingly poised after 15 overs with Sylhet needing another 41. When it came down to 16 off 12, it appeared as if Sylhet would coast towards the win but Ross Whiteley and Shuvagata fell off successive deliveries, inducing panic in the home side’s dressing room.

With ten runs needed off five balls, Nurul Hasan shattered Comilla’s hopes by connecting Bravo’s slower ball to perfection for a six over long on. And then off the penultimate delivery, he stepped down the track and got a thick outside edge which eventually beat the short third man fielder to reach the boundary ropes, sealing the deal for Sylhet.

Earlier in the day, their bowlers put on a good show to keep Comilla to 145 in their 20 overs. Even though Liton Das and Imrul Kayes started off well with a flurry of boundaries, they were both dismissed in back-to-back overs as the home side regained control at the end of the powerplay.

With overseas recruit Jos Buttler also failing to fire, Comilla were in tatters at 44 for 3 before Marlon Samuels and Alok Kapali rescued the innings briefly with a 42-run stand. While Samuels went on to score a half-century, Kapali was dismissed by Krishmar Santokie, who also accounted for Nabi’s wicket towards the end. Their failure to fetch more runs at the death eventually cost them the game.

Brief Scores

Comilla Victorians 145/6 in 20 overs (Marlon Samuels 60, Alok Kapali 26; Taijul Islam 2-22, Krishmar Santokie 2-30) lost to 

Sylhet Sixers 148/6 in 19.5 overs (Upul Tharanga 51, Andre Fletcher 36; Dwayne Bravo 2-34) by six wickets