The Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) has come to an end and one could not have asked for a better finish as Comilla Victorians defeated Fortune Barishal by the smallest of margins - just one run. The Business Standard (TBS) has chosen its best XI from this year's BPL sticking to the tournament's three-overseas-players policy.
The Sports team of TBS has given importance to the impact, strike rates, economy rates more than runs, wickets and averages and attempted to pick the eleven best players of the tournament.
Will Jacks (11 innings, 414 runs, Average: 41.4, Strike-rate: 155.05)
Chattogram Challengers' Will Jacks was the leading run-scorer of the tournament with 414 runs at a superb average of 41.4. His strike rate was well above 150, 155.05 to be exact, and only Sunil Narine had a higher strike rate than him in the tournament (minimum 150 runs).
His career-best unbeaten 92 helped Chattogram beat Khulna in the eliminator. Jacks was excellent against both spinners and pacers and gave Chattogram flying starts almost every match. His 19 sixes in the tournament was only behind Andre Fletcher's tally of 21.
Munim Shahriar (6 innings, 178 runs, Average: 29.7, Strike-rate: 152.13)
Munim Shahriar arrived quite late in the tournament but arrived in some style. Fortune Barishal used him as a powerplay maximiser in the tournament and he repaid the faith in almost every match. His strike rate of 148.38 in the first six overs is the highest by a local batter in the powerplay in BPL history (minimum 100 runs).
Munim took on all the bowlers he faced and a short-arm jab off Mustafizur Rahman was one of the highlights of this season. Tamim Iqbal and Andre Fletcher are the other two contenders for the spot but Munim got the nod on the basis of superior strike rate and impact.
Anamul Haque (9 innings, 280 runs, Average: 31.11, Strike-rate: 121.7), (wicketkeeper)
His team Sylhet Sunrisers had a very poor tournament but Anamul Haque was consistent at the top of the order. Anamul crossed 40 thrice in nine innings and almost got his team over the line in at least two of them. His 78 against Chattogram Challengers in a league match was one of the finest knocks in the tournament on a losing cause.
No wicketkeeper-batter in the tournament had more runs than Anamul and that's why he will take the number three position. Mushfiqur Rahim could've challenged him for the spot of the wicketkeeper but TBS has decided to go with Anamul.
Shakib Al Hasan (11 matches, 284 runs, 16 wickets, Strike-rate: 144.2), (captain)
Shakib led Fortune Barishal from the front and bagged the player-of-the-tournament award but the team fell short in the end by just one run. But the all-rounder was in stellar form in the tournament, scoring 284 runs and picking up 16 wickets in 11 matches.
Shakib averaged 28.4 with the bat and maintained a healthy strike rate of 144.2. On the other hand, his economy rate was well below six per over, 5.35 to be precise. Shakib had three fifty-plus scores in 11 innings in the tournament.
The all-rounder hit 15 sixes in the tournament and only Andre Fletcher, Will Jacks and Moeen Ali cleared the fence more times than him. He will also skipper the side.
Moeen Ali (8 matches, 225 runs, 9 wickets, Strike-rate: 150.0)
England's Moeen Ali was in smashing form coming into the tournament and did exactly what he is known for. The all-rounder, in just his second outing, played a blistering knock of 75 off 35 balls and scored a rapid 34 off 13 in the second qualifier against Chattogram.
With the ball, he was pretty good with nine wickets at a decent economy rate of 7.25. He played an important knock of 38 off 32 in the final which eventually made the difference.
Interestingly, Moeen hit 17 sixes in the tournament and only 10 fours. So Moeen Ali will play at number five and bowl a few overs as well.
Yasir Ali (8 innings, 219 runs, Average: 31.3, Strike-rate: 139.5)
Khulna Tigers' Yasir Ali had an excellent tournament with the bat, scoring 219 runs at a healthy average and strike rate. Although most of his good knocks came on losing causes, Yasir showed that he can cause serious damage with the bat. He is a capable middle-order batter with skills to score all around the ground and the trait that caught the eye of everyone is his ability to change gears quickly.
It makes him a strong contender for a number six spot. He is one of very few middle-order batters in Bangladesh who can muscle the ball and give a strong finish. And he has the game to rebuild the innings if there is a collapse.
Dwayne Bravo (10 matches, 18 wickets, 120 runs, Economy rate: 7.78)
Dwayne Bravo may be on the other side of his peak but the seam-bowling all-rounder is still an asset for any team he plays for in T20s. The leading wicket-taker in the history of the shortest form of the game, Bravo was outstanding with his variations in the eighth edition of the BPL.
He led the pace attack of Fortune Barishal and ended the tournament with 18 wickets in 10 matches, only behind Mustafizur Rahman's tally of 19. Besides, he played a couple of excellent cameos and he is a perfect contender for the number seven spot.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz (12 matches, 13 wickets, 207 runs, Economy rate: 8.76)
Mehidy Hasan Miraz was relieved of Chattogram Challengers' captaincy after four matches but the all-rounder was consistent for the team both with the bat and the ball. The superb final over in the eliminator against Khulna was one of the high points of his BPL career. Miraz also played a few very good innings and his partnership with Chadwick Walton in the same match was a major turning point.
His economy rate was slightly on the higher side but he was the only lower-order player who contributed both with the bat and ball substantially.
Tanvir Islam (12 matches, 12 innings, 16 wickets, Economy rate: 7.65)
Comilla Victorians' left-arm spinner Tanvir Islam was one of the finds of the tournament with 16 wickets in 12 innings. He was the joint third-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with Shakib Al Hasan. Tanvir was used as a partnership breaker by Imrul Kayes and he did that superbly.
One quality of Tanvir that was impressive was his ability to bounce back after getting hit. Tanvir bowled brilliantly in the all-important final as well with two for 25 in his quota of four overs.
Nasum Ahmed was one of the contenders for the spot but Tanvir's tremendous outing especially in the final prompted TBS to give him the nod.
Mustafizur Rahman (11 matches, 11 innings, 19 wickets, Economy rate: 6.62)
Mustafizur Rahman is an obvious pick as he had a fabulous tournament with the ball. The left-arm seamer was the leading wicket-taker with 19 wickets that included a five-for. Despite bowling most of his overs at the death, Mustafizur maintained a superb economy rate of 6.62.
He is the most economical bowler at the death in the history of the tournament (minimum 50 overs).
Mustafizur bowled the all-important penultimate over in the final of the tournament and gave away only six runs and got a wicket which helped his team eventually defend 151.
Mehedi Hasan Rana (8 matches, 7 innings, 11 wickets, Economy rate: 8.21)
Left-arm seamer Mehedi Hasan Rana was a revelation in the tournament. Barishal captain Shakib Al Hasan used him mostly in the second half of the innings and the young man did his job brilliantly. Rana picked up 11 wickets in the tournament in seven innings at an economy rate of 8.21 and gave his team a lot of vital breakthroughs.
Mrittunjoy Chowdhury could have challenged him for the spot but Rana was a far more economical bowler than the former.