Mashrafe Midas touch Earned Victory
25 November 2015, Nirapad News: Comilla Victorians Vs Chittagong Vikings Played at SBNCS on 24 November 2016
Comilla Victorians: 177/3 (M N Samuels 69*, Masharfe Bin Mortaza 56*, Shubhagato Hom 30, Mohammad Amir 2/ 27) beat Chittagong Vikings 176/4 (Ziaur Rahman 39 *, Anamul Haq 39*, TM Dilshan 36, Tamim Iqbal 33, Ashar Zaidi 2/ 29) by 7 wickets
Mashrafe Midas touch made Victorians turning the table on strong Vikings. Team from Comilla thrashed their cousins of Chittagong in a spectacular way by 7 wickets.
Batting first Vikings set a challenging target of 177 for the Victorians. It was not easy against very strong Vikings attack. Mashrafe squad under his supreme command hopped across the hurdle losing only three wickets.
Vikings suffered second defeat in three matches; Victorians won one and lost one from the two. Mashrafe and Samuels unbroken fourth wicket partnership of 123 reduced the strongest BPL bowling attack to mere mortals. It was controlled power heating of world standard. No praise can be enough for the way the pair batted.
Mashrafe once again proved the magician of a man he is. A cricketer playing after seven knee surgeries and still not fully recovered from dengue championed his teams success leading from the front.
Comilla Vicirorians on player to player basis was definitely underdog as against Vikings. But when a team has a never say die leader like Mashrafe anything can happen. His vintage touch turns everything into gold.
In the first match, he marshaled his very bowling resources with clinical efficiency in defending a small total. The match went to wire. In the match last afternoon his team was reduced to 10/2 by the third over chasing 178. He promoted himself when the team partially recovered to 54/3 in the 8th over.
With an attack possessing Mohammad Amir, Taskin Ahmed, Shafiul Islam and Saeed Ajmal it appeared that Vikings would have cake walk. But world cricket must know now that when a man of other planet Mashrafe is the competitor nothing can be taken for granted.
He partnered with Samuels in not only blunting the lethal attack but also blasted them striking 123 runs in the unbroken fourth wicket in 15.5 overs. It was like robbing off the victory from the Vikings.
Mashrafe scored 56b in only 32 deliveries while Samuels struck 69 of 52. After the draw of Icon players Victorian owners were little discontent in not being able getting Shakib Al Hasan.
But in three days of the tournament what Mashrafe proved that what a gem of cricketer he is. We remember Shakib himself said recently if Mashrafe was a bit mindful with his batting he could by now become one of the leading all-rounders of the world.
We now understand why the top ranked ICC all-rounder in all format had to say so. Whether while batting, bowling and fielding he gives 100 % all the time. His leadership is infectious.
Batting first Vikings raced to a blistering start once again. Tamim and Dilshan started firing with all cylinders matching strokes for strokes.63 runs were added by 8th over.
Mashrafe without getting perplexed at all and reading the match situation and wicket well brought in his little known at international level left arm Pakistani spinner Zaidi.
In his first and second over, he removed Dilshan and Tamim. Mashrafe returned to disturb the furniture of Sri Lankan Kapugedra before he could anchor. In a matter of three overs 63/0 became 84/3 with three international players back in dug out.
Anamul Haque and Yasir Ali had to undertake the repair. When Tamim and Dilshan started any score of 220 -230 was even a possibility.
Dilshan and Tamim both miss hit their strokes at a stage when after initial blitz steadying the innings was essential. Dilshan plays like this. But Tamim being captain must bat more responsibly.
In three matches, he looked in prolific form but in all three gifted away his wicket when he could easily bat the opponents out of the matches.
Anamul batted within his limitation remaining unbeaten on 39 off 30 and with him Ziaur Raman had a cameo of 39 inn only 16 deliveries. Vikings could post 177/4. Again for unnecessary flamboyance of Tamim and Dilshan a possible score of 200 plus fell at least 25 -30 short.
Mashrafe had very limited bowling resources compared to Tamim. Only Mashrafe and Sunil Narin are world class. Still putting brakes on Vikings racing car and restricting them to a chasable score was again principally for imaginative leadership of Mashrafe.
Victorians made a disastrous start. Pakistanis sensation Amir struck two early blows removing Liton and Kayes in his first and second over.
We have seen lack of technique and temperament of both the national players in two matches they played. They were visibly rattled from pace and movement of Amir and Taskin.
Victorians also does not possess many quality batsmen. But again wherever Mashrafe touches it turns gold. Inspired Shubhagato at number four batted aggressively snatching away initiative partially from Vikings. His 16 balls 30 had four strikes across and two over the fence. When he departed at 54 in the 8th over prospect was still looking gloomy.
Captain courageous steeped in joining Samuels. He showed the way of handling a world class bowling attack of Amir Taskin, Shafiul and Saeed Ajmal.
His aggressive counter attack and Samuels allay in destruction snatched the match away from Vikings. Compared with Vikings Mashrafe did not have enough depth and past proven quality in batting and bowling. Yet his inspiring leadership from the front earned a highly creditable first win for Victorians.
Fittingly Mashrafe for his unbeaten 56 off 32 balls and a crucial wicket coupled with exemplary leadership was adjudged player of the match.