Oh, what Soumya Sarkar and Dawid Malan must be feeling after the match! Both had opportunities to dismiss Tamim Iqbal on 4 and 43 respectively but failed to grab those opportunities, and the 30-year old ended up scoring 74.
Cumilla Warriors ended up 20 runs short to Dhaka Platoon, who secured their first win of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 2019 with a fairly easy win.
Batting first, Dhaka piled up a commendable 180, courtesy of Tamim's 74 and Thisara Perera's destructive 42. In reply, Cumilla had a good start and were in the game for a bit, but a flurry of wickets in the middle overs and Thisara's five-wicket haul threw them out of the game as they were all out for 160.
Thisara Perera was adjudged Man of the Match for his blistering knock of 42 not out and five-wicket haul.
Cumilla were off to a flying start in their run chase as they gathered 32 runs in the first three overs as Bhanuka Rajapaksa started to rain fire on the Dhaka bowlers. But their skipper Mashrafe rattled Rajapaksa's stumps to send him back as his first wicket after six matches before the other opener Yasir Ali Chowdhury went back trying to slog Mahedi Hasan, only managing to find Jaker Ali at the boundary.
Soumya Sarkar and Dawid Malan continued as they took Cumilla to 52-2 at the end of the powerplay.
Soumya and Malan continued the flow of runs as they brought up their fifty-run stand of just 40 deliveries, just before Wahab Riaz sent Soumya back. A quick short ball from Wahab left Soumya cramping for space, which led the left-handed batsman to give a simple catch to Anamul Haque after scoring 35 runs from 26 deliveries.
Malan continued but it was a catastrophe on the other end. Thisara Perera came into the attack in the 12th over and struck twice to reduce Cumilla to 98-5. At first, Sabbir Rahman tried to scoop Thisara but only managed an edge to Anamul to go back on four. The very next delivery saw Cumilla's skipper and saviour of the last match Dasun Shanaka poke at a delivery outside off and managing to send another edge to Anamul to go back for a golden duck.
Once the wickets were gone, the flow of runs was thwarted. Runs became scarce, the asking rate kept climbing and the tight bowling from the Dhaka bowlers did not help matters for Cumilla at all. When the 17th over ended, Cumilla still required 42 runs from the remaining 18 deliveries.
Dawid Malan, the felon of missing an opportunity to dismiss Tamim on 43, went back in the 18th over on 40 to diminish Cumilla's last hopes of victory.
Thisara showed his might with the bat earlier in the game and also showed it with the ball as he sent back Mahidul Islam, Abu Hider Rony and Sunzamul Islam in the 19th over to complete his five-wicket haul.
Cumilla Warriors ended up on 160 to hand Dhaka a 20-run win.
Earlier, Cumilla Warriors skipper Dasun Shanaka won the toss and invited Dhaka Platoon to bat first. His decision looked to be on target as Mujeeb-ur-Rahman trapped Anamul Haque LBW in the very first delivery of the match.
Dhaka pulled a rabbit out of their hat as they sent Mahedi Hasan at No.3, a batsman who generally bats down the order. But he did not last long as he gave Al-Amin Hossain an easy catch off Abu Hider Rony to get out on 12.
Tamim Iqbal initially struggled and gave chances but with time he looked in the mood as he settled in and continued to take Dhaka forward with Laurie Evans. Tamim was initially dropped on only four by Soumya. Tamim provided with another opportunity when he was on 43 and Dawid Malan grabbed it, but Malan stepped on the boundary rope to gift six runs to the left-handed batsman. With a couple of lives, Tamim reached his fifty off 40 deliveries and right after his fifty, the 30-year old batsman started accelerating.
Laurie Evans looked to increase his strike rate too, but in that process gave Rony a catch at the boundary who grabbed it after an initial juggle.
But as soon as Thisara Perera stepped on to the pitch, Dhaka's run rate started to soar. Thisara unleashed himself on Abu Hider as the Sri Lankan power-hitter took 23 runs in the 16th over, including a six and four fours.
Tamim wreaked havoc on Shanaka in the next over as he hit him for a four and a six, but It was Shanaka who had the last laugh as he sent Tamim back for 74 off 53 deliveries, in the process destructive partnership of 48 runs off 15 deliveries.
Shahid Afridi broke his duck with a four off Soumya Sarkar but returned in the very next delivery as he was caught at the boundary trying to clear it.
Soumya struck again in the same over as Wahab Riaz tried to hoick the ball out of the park, only managing to skew it straight up and wicketkeeper Mahidul Islam took a simple catch to send back Wahab Riaz for a golden duck.
The wickets wrecked Dhaka's momentum but a few hits from Thisara and skipper Mashrafe, who was dismissed trying to take a double on the last ball of the innings, ensured that Dhaka reached 180-7. Thisara stayed unbeaten on 42, coming from only 17 deliveries.
Soumya and Shanaka both took two wickets each with Abu Hider and Mujeeb picking up one each.
Dhaka Platoon: 180-7 (Tamim 74, Thisara 42*, Soumya 2-39, Shanaka 2-48)
Cumilla Warriors: 160-9 (Malan 40, Soumya 35, Thisara 5-30, Wahab 2-16)