Batting first, Cumilla notched up 140-9 in their innings and Sylhet, with ups and downs in their 20 overs, managed to tie the game, leading to a super over.
Finally, a proper nailbiter in the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 2019. Cumilla Warriors managed to beat Sylhet Thunder to keep their hopes of a playoff spot alive, but it was not easy as they had to go through a super over to clinch the two points.
Batting first, Cumilla managed to score 140 on a pitch which looked like a defendable total on a tricky pitch to bat on. And they were on their way as Sylhet were reduced to 33-5 within the eighth over. But who knew, the drama had just begun to unfold?
Sohag Gazi and Nazmul Hossain Milon put up a 70-run stand to bring them close, but man of the match Mujeeb-ur-Rahman struck thrice in an over to kill Sylhet hopes. But Monir Hossain did not budge and dragged Sylhet to 140, which meant a super over was incoming, the first of the tournament and the second in BPL history.
Batting first in the super over, Sylhet started the innings with a four. But they managed to score only three from the remaining five deliveries as Mujeeb bowled another brilliant over. In reply, Cumilla managed to score only three of the first two deliveries and lost their skipper Soumya Sarkar on the third. But David Wiese's boundary in the fourth delivery ensured they did not lose and a single on the next ball ensured Cumilla's fourth win of the tournament.
Mujeeb-ur-Rahman was adjudged man of the match for his figures of four for 12 and a brilliant super over.
Sabbir Rahman must be feeling relieved. He dropped a catch in the 19th over which went on to become a six and had helped Sylhet tie the game. But with the game won, Sabbir must feel relieved that it did not turn out to be the costliest mistake of the game.
Earlier, Sylhet and Cumilla both fielded new captains as both of their regular captains were unavailable. Sylhet's regular skipper Mosaddek Hossain was out with a back injury whereas Cumilla's regular skipper Dawid Malan had to return home because of personal reasons. Sylhet skipper Andre Fletcher won the toss and invited his counterpart, Soumya Sarkar to bat first.
Batting first, Cumilla were off to a flying start as they notched up 42 runs in the first four overs. Especially Upul Tharanga, who was playing his first match of the tournament, was relentless on the Sylhet bowlers. Sylhet got their first success in the fifth over when their skipper Fletcher took a superb catch off Ebadat Hossain's bowling to dismiss Stiaan Van Zyl for 10. In the process, Fletcher injured himself and thus had to leave the field.
After getting their first scalp, Sylhet looked charged up and started to thwart Cumilla's flow of runs. Cumilla skipper Soumya and Tharanga both fell to Sohag Gazi for 8 and 45 respectively. Yasir Ali was the next to go as he was caught at the boundary for 5 off Sherfane Rutherford to reduce Cumilla to 87-4.
Cumilla continued to lose wickets in regular intervals as David Wiese was sent back by Ebadat and Rutherford clattered Sabbir's stumps to send him back for a sluggish 17 off 25 deliveries.
Abu Hider Rony and Sunzamul Islam went back in consecutive deliveries to reduce Cumilla to 123-8 with Rutherford and Ebadot both picking up their third scalp of the game.
Cumilla somehow stuttered their way to 140-9 as Mujeeb-ur-Rahman was run out in the last delivery trying to steal a second run. Mahidul Islam Ankon was unbeaten on 19 off 14 deliveries.
Rutherford and Ebadot both picked up three wickets with Sohag Gazi picking up a couple.
Chasing a small target of 141, Sylhet were dealt with an early double blow as both their openers, Johnson Charles and Rony Talukder, went back in the hut within the second over. Charles gave a simple return catch to the bowler Sunzamul Islam in the very first delivery of the innings and Rony was trapped LBW by Mujeeb-ur-Rahman in the next over.
Sherfane Rutherford survived a scare as he was given out but got saved taking a review before Al-Amin Hossain struck twice in the seventh over to reduce Cumilla to 33-4. Mohammad Mithun was caught on 13 by Stiaan Van Zyl on the first delivery of the over while Rutherford gloved a delivery down the legside to Mahidul Islam Ankon to get out on 15. Ankon was again in action in the next over as David Wiese removed Sylhet skipper Fletcher for 1, diminishing Sylhet's hopes of clinching a win.
But Sohag Gazi and Nazmul Hossain Milon showed the Sylhet fans some hope as they formed a 70-run stand to bring the equation down to 38 from the last four overs. Milon played an indolent innings of 13 from 23 deliveries but Sohag Gazi was relentless at the other hand as he picked up his fifty off only 29 deliveries, on a pitch where every other batsman of his team was struggling. But then came Mujeeb and Sylhet were assassinated.
Mujeeb got rid of Milon in the first delivery of the 17th over to bring the breakthrough but did not stop there. On the fourth and fifth delivery of the match, Mujeeb dismissed Nayeem Hassan and Sohag Gazi to completely rule Sylhet out of the game.
But only if he could. Monir Hossain played a cameo and he, along with Naveen-ul-Haq, took the game to the final over where Sylhet needed 15. Al-Amin Hossain came to bowl and Naveen picked up two boundaries in the first two deliveries to reduce the equation to seven off four. Naveen was run out the next delivery but Monir did not budge. He and Ebadot managed to take five from the required six to take the match into the very first super over of this BPL.
Batting first in the super over, Sylhet managed to accumulate only seven. And even though Cumilla lost a wicket, they managed to win it with a delivery to go.
This match eliminates Sylhet Thunder's chances for qualifying for the playoffs completely whereas it keeps Cumilla in contention for a playoff spot as they are currently on eight points.