Narine record half-century sends Comilla to BPL final


Sports desk, Feb 16: Sunil Narine hit the fastest half-century in Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) history as Comilla Victorians crushed Chattogram Challengers by seven wickets in the second Qualifier at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium today to confirm the final of the tournament.

They will take on Fortune Barishal in the final, scheduled on Friday. Fortune Barishal forced them to play the second Qualifier by beating them by 10 runs in the first Qualifier, reports BSS.

After hitting the fastest BPL fifty, which is the second quickest in T20 cricket’s history, Narine was dismissed for 57 for which he overall played 16 balls and clobbered five fours and six sixes.

Thanks to his marauding knock, Comilla raced to the victory in just 12.5 overs with 149-3 after Chattogram Challengers were dismissed for 148 in 19.1 overs.

Chattogram had a terrific start as Shoriful Islam got rid of Liton Das in the first ball with a delivery that carried extra bounce.

By getting wicket in the first ball, Shoriful and whole Chattogram was pumped up but Narine then hit him for 14 runs in that over and followed it striking another 22 runs from Mehidy Hasan Miraz’s over to quickly reach 36 off just 9.

He thereafter took another 10 runs from Afif to reach 46 off 11 and stood closer to emulate the fastest half-century. However that was not to be as Afif denied him another boundary. He was left satisfied with a single.

But in the next delivery he faced, he struck a massive six off Mrittunjoy Chowdhury to complete fifty off just 13 balls. Mrittujoy however got him finally after conceding another boundary.

But Narine’s whirlwind knock made it clear, the win would be a cake-walk for Comilla. And it was rightly so even though they lost three wickets.

Faf du Plessis and Moeen Ali then scored an identical 30 not out as Comilla effortlessly confirmed the victory.

Earlier, Chattogram Challengers recovered from a shaky start to rack up 148 runs.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz with 44 runs knock was the key to help the side post a fighting total after Comilla bowlers had them wobbled at 50-5.

At this point, Chattogram lost their two key batters Will Jacks and Chadwick Walton. After they elected to bat first, Jacks gave them a fluent start but couldn’t carry on his onslaught as he was out for 16 off 9.

Walton, their hero of the Eliminator game could make just 2. Opener Zakir Hasan showed much promise but he also eventually was dismissed for 20.

Miraz then got an ably support in Akbar Ali and together they shared 61-run for the sixth wickets to quell the fear of being bowled out below 100.

Akbar struck two six and two fours for his 33 off 20 before giving Abu Haider Rony the return catch.

Shohidul Islam took the prized scalp of Miraz at the penultimate over after he reached 44 off 38 with three fours and two sixes.

Mrittunjoy Chowdhury then hammered two massive sixes to edge the side closer to 150 runs mark, which looked a fighting total in this slow wicket.

Shohidul and Moeen Ali however claimed three wicket apiece while Mustafizur Rahman, Abu Haider Rony and Tanvir Islam took one wicket apiece.