A brilliant opening stand and later on, a procession of batsmen towards the dressing room.
If you had to describe the Chattogram Challengers' innings against Cumilla Warriors in one line, this was it. In their match in the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 2019, Chattogram had a 103-run opening stand, but finally managed to score only 159-6. They only managed to score 57 runs in the last nine overs and that too courtesy of Ziaur Rahman's 34 off 21 deliveries.
Winning the toss, Cumilla skipper Dawid Malan decided to have a bowl first. Nurul Hasan Sohan was standing in for Imrul Kayes and Mahmudullah Riyad as the skipper of Chattogram as Kayes was out with a fever and Riyad with an injury.
Chattogram were off to a flying start as Lendl Simmons and Junaid Siddique built a formidable stand for the first wicket, notching up 54 runs in the powerplay. They went on their merry way as they brought up their hundred-run partnership off just 63 deliveries.
Their stand finally broke when Soumya Sarkar struck to get rid of Simmons on 55 off 34 deliveries. Simmons tried to clear the boundary again but only managed to find Sunzamul Islam at the mid-wicket boundary.
Junaid did not last long after his partner's departure as he was run out for 45 off 37 deliveries. Junaid hit the ball to short fine leg and looked to steal a single and was refused and by the time he dived in his crease, he was already gone courtesy of some good work from keeper Mahidul Islam Ankon.
Soumya picked up his second scalp in his last over as Sabbir Rahman took a well-judged catch to send Ryan Burl for 2. The Zimbabwean batsman tried to hoick Soumya but only managed to send it skywards and Sabbir took a good catch running back. Chadwick Walton went back in the 15th over to Sunzamul as the Caribbean batsman was caught at deep fine leg by Robiul Islam for 9.
Ziaur Rahman, coming in at no. 6, started to play big shots from the word go. He was given a life in the 18th over as Sunzamul dropped Zia at the mid-wicket boundary off Mujeeb-ur-Rahman on 12.
Stand-in captain Nurul Hasan was gone in the 19th over as David Wiese went through his defences to send him back for 4.
Coming in to bowl the last over was Al-Amin Hossain and in the second ball, he dismissed Liam Plunkett for 4. Al-Amin bowled a pretty good over despite a six, conceding only nine runs.
Chattogram finished with 159-6 as Zia was unbeaten on 34 off 21 deliveries.
Soumya picked up two wickets for 19 runs with Sunzamul, Al-Amin and Wiese picking up one wicket each.