Comilla Victorians maintained their hundred percent winning record at the Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur in the ongoing edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) as they beat Khulna Tigers by a massive margin of 65 runs. With the win, the Imrul Kayes-led side moved to the top of the table. They are tied on 13 points with Fortune Barishal but the superior net run rate saw them attain the top spot.
Moeen Ali's scintillating show both with the bat and ball headlined Comilla's huge victory. Moeen, in this match, became the fifth player in the history of the tournament after Azhar Mahmood, Sunil Narine, Lewis Gregory and Soumya Sarkar to achieve the double of 75 runs and two wickets in the same match.
Earlier, after a quiet first over, Comilla opener Liton Das ran rampant in the second and third overs bowled by Nabil Samad and Khaled Ahmed respectively. Nabil conceded 16 and Khaled gave away 19 runs as Comilla got off to a flyer.
Samad returned with a brilliant over as he scalped Liton's partner Mahmudul Hasan Joy in his second over, giving away just one run. Liton was dropped by Khaled off Ruyel Miah in the final over of the powerplay and the right-hander finished the eventful powerplay with a maximum. Comilla were 52 for one after six.
Right after the powerplay, Liton Das was caught behind off Thisara Perera for 41 off 17. Mushfiqur Rahim took a spectacular catch behind the wicket. Liton clobbered four fours and three maximums.
Imrul Kayes failed yet again but the in-form Moeen Ali did what he has been doing with the bat for a while. He paired up with Faf du Plessis and added 83 off just 46 balls where the latter contributed just 24 before getting out in the 17th over.
Moeen was in exceptional form as he smashed nine sixes and a four in his 75 off 35 - most of them towards the midwicket region - before getting out in the penultimate over. His nine sixes were the highest for a batter in the BPL history at number five.
Khulna pulled things back after a rollicking start by some tight bowling but Moeen's outrageous knock helped Comilla go past the 180-mark and Mahidul Islam's six in the final ball stretched the total to 188 for six, their highest in this tournament.
Andre Fletcher took Nahidul Islam to the cleaners in the first over, taking 16 runs. But the golden arm of Mustafizur Rahman, the leading wicket-taker of the tournament, struck early to pick up two in two - Rony Talukdar and Fletcher. Onus was on the batters coming next to steady the ship but they could not do so for a longer period of time.
Just after the powerplay, Yasir Ali and captain Mushfiqur Rahim got themselves dismissed at the same score and Khulna were tottering at 44 for four.
Khulna kept on losing two wickets within a short period of time as they lost Sikandar Raza and a set Soumya Sarkar in the space of six runs. At six for 67, things looked bleak for Khulna.
The required run rate kept on creeping up and Khulna did not have much firepower in their line-up. Khulna were all-out for 123. Abu Hider picked up three wickets while Nahidul, Mustafizur and Moeen bagged three apiece.