Malik 54*, Hasan’s 5 for 20 seal thrilling Comilla win

DHAKA (Cricinfo): Comilla Victorians surged to the top of the points table with their fifth successive win, beating a strong Dhaka Dynamites side by four wickets. Hasan Ali’s five-for helped bowl out Dhaka for only 128 before Shoaib Malik’s unbeaten half-century coolly finished the chase in the last over.

With nine required off the last over, Malik carved the first ball from Mohammad Saddam for a four over point and an inside-edge off the third ball leveled the scores. Malik completed the victory off the next delivery, scampering for a single to end a match that had a couple of heated moments.

But it was Hasan’s 5 for 20, his maiden five-for in the format, that had given Comilla the upper hand. He bowled out all five of the batsmen, pitching up fast deliveries on a length just ahead of half-volley, but not quite a yorker. He struck twice in the second over, before Sunil Narine and Kumar Sangakkara added 92 runs for the third wicket, and then got the side back into the game again as Dhaka slipped to 128 all out in 18.3 overs from a position of 104 for 2 in the 13th over.

Narine lifts Dhaka

Hasan dismissed Evin Lewis and Mehedi Maruf off his first balls, making amends for having dropped Lewis in the previous over. Lewis was bowled trying to swing across a fast, full delivery. Maruf tried a similar thing, but was bowled by an inswinger that was directed at middle and leg stump, hit his pads and smashed into the off stump.

At the other end, Narine had other ideas. Sent to open for the first time this season, he cracked a six off Hasan straight down the ground. Against spinners Rashid Khan and Mahedi Hasan, Narine hit sixes over square-leg and long-on. Al-Amin Hossain and Mohammad Saifuddin were also hit for a straight six each before the latter removed Narine in the 14th over, an over after Sangakkara was dismissed.

Narine had done his job though. A 92-run partnership with Sangakkara for the third wicket had given Dhaka a strong base that their big-hitters could exploit in the remaining 6.2 overs. Hasan, however, had different ideas.

Hasan sinks Dhaka

One over after Narine was dismissed, Rashid fielded brilliantly off his own bowling to catch Pollard short of the crease. Rashid, off his own bowling, did brilliantly to cut out the ball and catch Pollard short of the crease. Then, Tamim brought back Hasan into the attack. Mosaddek’s middle-stump was disturbed first up, but the batsman didn’t take kindly to Hasan’s send-off and had to calmed down by Tamim as he left the field. Hasan then removed Saddam and Abu Hider, as Dhaka lost their last eight wickets for 24 runs.

Comilla’s top order falls cheaply

Abu Hider and Sunil Narine got rid of the Comilla openers, Liton Das and Tamim in consecutive overs. Liton was bowled attempting an ugly slog, while Tamim was stumped charging at Narine after having hit him for a six off the previous ball. Imrul Kayes and Darren Bravo, who had replaced Marlon Samuels, added 35 runs for the third wicket before Imrul was undone by Saddam’s slower ball for 20. Narine got rid of Bravo with a beautiful delivery that spun from leg-stump and took the left-hander’s outside edge. Mohammad Amir then dismissed Jos Buttler in the 17th over, with Comilla still needing 30 runs to win.

Malik finishes a tough chase

Two balls after dismissing Buttler, Amir removed Mohammad Saifuddin to leave Comilla in some trouble at 103 for 6. Malik took charge with a huge six off Saddam in the next over before milking singles off Narine in the penultimate over. Saddam couldn’t stop Malik in the end, as Comilla won with two balls to spare. He was unbeaten on 54 off 53 balls with a six and four boundaries.