Mayers stars as Barishal clinch first BPL title

Sports Desk Published: 2 March 2024, 08:03 AM
Mayers stars as Barishal clinch first BPL title

A stellar all-round performance of Kyle Mayers helped Fortune Barishal outclass Cumilla Victorians by six wickets and in doing so sealed its first Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 title at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Friday, reports BSS.

Mayers bowled with utmost brilliance to take one wicket before hitting a match-winning 30 ball-46 as Fortune Barishal reached 157-4 for an effortless victory overhauling Cumilla's moderate 154-6 with one over to spare.

His performance was key in inflicting Cumilla its first defeat in the final as they were seeking their hat-trick and fifth title.

The fate of the match was almost sealed when Barishal's captain Tamim Iqbal won the toss. With Mirpur always assisting the team bowling first, Barishal got the psychological edge when coin favoured them.

Barishal which finished at third in the group phase won all three knock out matches to win the trophy, a feat that made their title victory even sweeter one. In every knock matches, they won the toss and put the opponents into bat first.

But credit should go to their bowlers also as they came up all guns blazing against a much-vaunted batting line up of Cumilla to restrict them to a total, which looked achievable with ease.

The highest score of Comilla came from the willow of Mahidul Islam Ankan who made 38 off 35 with two fours and two sixes.

Kyle Mayers gave the side a breakthrough, dismissing Sunil Narine (5) in the first over and bowled with tight line and length to finish at 1-26 in four overs.

James Fuller who claimed 2-43, removed Towhid Hridoy (15) and captain Liton Das (16) in his consecutive overs to leave Comilla 42-3 in the first power-play and from then on it all looked gloomy for the most successful team of the BPL history.

Obed McCoy further dented Cumilla, getting rid of Johnson Charles after he made 15.

The situation was further compounded when Moeen Ali was run out for 3 after a mix-up with Ankon.

However Ankon and Jaker Ali Anik put on 36 for the sixth wicket, the highest partnership for Comilla before the former was dismissed by Mohammad Saifuddin.

Andre Russell then bludgeoned the Barishal bowlers impeccably to help the side propel past 150-run mark.

With 147-6, Comilla were looking for Russell to final flourish in the last over. But Saifuddin bowled a magnificent last over, denying Russell any big hit. No boundary was conceded in that over, as Saifuddin gave away just seven runs.

Russell finally was not out on 27 off 14, hitting four sixes.

Captain Tamim Iqbal and Mehidy Hasan Miraz put on 76 in just eight overs to make the chase a cake-walk but Moeen Ali (2-28) removed both of them in his consecutive overs, with Tamim striking 26 ball-39, with three fours and as many sixes while Miraz making 26 ball-29.

Those two wickets seemed to change the mood in Cumilla tent as their bowlers came up with more resolve. However the fielders Jaker Ali Anik and Johnson Charles put down two catches of Mayers in the bowling of Moeen Ali.

Those misses proved to be too costly as Mayers, recovered from the shaky start to come up with all-out attack on the bowlers.

He smote five fours and two sixes for his knock which edged the side closer to the victory. As Mustafizur Rahman denied him a half-century, Barishal were just 14-run away.

Mustafizur (2-31) then got the better of Mushfiqur Rahim after he scored 13 but veteran David Miller (8*) slashed Mustafizur through the cover for a boundary to bring up the victory with six balls being unused.

Veteran Mahmudullah Riyad was on the other end with 7 not out. Though his and another seasoned campaigner Mushfiqur Rahim's contribution was not big one, both of them got the opportunity to put a hand on the prestigious trophy for the first time in their long career.