Who said that tailenders could not win you the match with the bat?
Even though it was skipper Dawid Malan's brilliant 74 run innings what took Cumilla to the target of 160 set by Chattogram Challengers, but in the end, it was their tailenders who won them the match.
Chasing 160, Cumilla needed 26 off 24 deliveries. Some sluggish batting from David Wiese and some impressive bowling from Rubel Hossain saw the equation come down to 24 from 12 deliveries. Mehedi Hasan Rana gave away only eight and Cumilla were left with 16 to take from the last over of World Cup winner Liam Plunkett. Cumilla's hopes were on Malan, but Abu Hider Rony and Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman turned out to be their hero.
Rony hit a four and a six to reduce the equation to 5 from 3 but Malan getting run out again swung the game to Chattogram's balance. In came Mujeeb, still requiring three from the last delivery. Plunkett bowled a full toss and Mujeeb did not do any mistake to dispatch the delivery to the boundary to ensure Cumilla's third win of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 2019.
Dawid Malan was adjudged man of the match for his brilliant 74 off 51 deliveries.
Winning the toss, Cumilla skipper Dawid Malan invited Chattogram to bat first. Batting first, despite a brilliant opening stand, Chattogram only managed to score 159-6.
In reply, Cumilla were off to a good start as they accumulated 28 in the first three overs. But then came Liam Plunkett and the World Cup winner sent Stiaan Van Zyl back for 22 off 12 as the batsman gave a simple catch to Nasum Ahmed.
Robiul Islam Robi went back in the ninth over in a hilarious way for 17 off 19 deliveries. Robi blocked the delivery from Mehedi Hasan Rana and as the ball went towards the stumps, the batsman helped the ball along with his knee to reach the stumps and get himself out.
Soumya Sarkar came in next and he was the next to go for 6 as he tried to slog sweep Ziaur Rahman but only managed to find Rana at the mid-wicket boundary, reducing Cumilla to 70-3.
Cumilla skipper Dawid Malan survived a scare in the 13th over as Chattogram reviewed against a not out decision. Malan was hit in the pads off Ryan Burl and the umpire gave not out but Chattogram took the review nonetheless. Replays suggested that the ball was missing the stumps and the decision stood with Chattogram losing their review. Getting the opportunity, Malan struck Zia for two sixes and a four in the next over to swing the game towards Cumilla. Malan went to pick up his fifty off 39 deliveries, consisting of three fours and three sixes each.
Sabbir was the next to go for 18 as Ryan Burl got the better of him and David Wiese coming to bat at six made the situation worse for Cumilla as he managed to score only 1 off seven deliveries before seeing his stumps being cluttered by Rubel Hossain. Rubel brought life back into Chattogram hearts as he struck again in the same over to send back Mahidul Islam Ankon for a duck. Rubel finished with the figure of two for 16, swinging the game into Chattogram's hands.
After Rubel's over, Cumilla still needed 24 off the last two overs. Bowling the penultimate over, Rana only gave away eight runs and Plunkett had to 16 to defend in the last over.
In the second delivery of the over, Abu Hider Rony hoicked the ball towards mid-wicket and it was in Nasum's range to catch it but he dropped it and the ball reached the boundary for a four. Rony hit the next ball out of the park for a six and a bye ensured that Malan was on strike. But Malan was run out trying to take two runs and Cumilla needed three in the last ball. Came in Mujeeb-ur-Rahman and he struck a Plunkett full toss to the boundary to win the game by two wickets.
Earlier, 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.