Tamim’s sensational innings helped the Victorians post a daunting 199-3 in their 20 overs before their bowlers restricted Dhaka Dynamites to 182-9 to seal a 17-run victory.
The Bangladesh stalwart’s maiden BPL ton contained 10 boundaries and a staggering 11 sixes with the southpaw single-handedly leading Victorians’ charge with the bat.
The opening batsman saw his partner Evin Lewis dismissed early but then took charge of the Victorians innings with some explosive hitting in the death overs. 10 of his 11 sixes on the day came off the last 33 deliveries he faced with Rubel Hossain and Shakib Al Hasan being carted for plenty of runs in their eight overs.
While Ruben conceded 48 runs from his four overs, Shakib was taken for 45. Only Sunil Narine was able to maintain some sense of calm in the eye of the Tamim-storm with the West Indies spinner finishing with figures of 0-18 from his four overs.
In response, the Dynamites lost Narine to a run out off just the second delivery of the innings before Upul Tharanga and Rony Talkukdar put on a 102-run stand for the second wicket.
Tharanga collected 48 runs from 27 balls while Talukdar smashed 66 off 38 as the hosts crossed the 100-run mark inside just nine overs in the chase.
However, once the two set batsmen were dismissed, the Dynamites’ innings fell away with Wahab Riaz striking with three quick-fire middle-order wickets. The Pakistan pacer dismissed Shakib, Kieron Pollard and Nurul Hasan in a terrific burst which saw the hosts reduced to 173-8.
There was no coming back for the Dynamites from that point as the franchise fell to their second BPL final loss in a row.
Comilla Victorians: 199-3 (20 overs)
Tamim Iqbal: 141 not out (61)
Dhaka Dynamites: 182-9 (20 overs)
Rony Talukdar: 66 (38)
Wahab Riaz: 3-28 (four overs)
Having bowled out for the England Lions for 340 runs in their first innings, India A had reached a commanding 219-1 when stumps were drawn on Friday.
It was a day which belonged to India A’s batsmen with Rahul and Priyank Kirit Panchal putting on an unbeaten 171-run stand for the second wicket. Rahul was batting on 88 while Panchal was unbeaten on 89 at the close of play on day two.
Having reduced the Lions to 303-5 on day one, the hosts did not take too long to wrap up the innings on the second day with seamer Navdeep Saini finishing with a five-wicket haul.
In response, India A only lost the one wicket on the day with opener Abhimanyu Easwaran falling for 31 to Lions’ medium pacer Zak Chappell.
It was a welcome return to form for KL Rahul who has struggled in international cricket of late. After a disappointing display in India’s recent tour of Australia, the top-order batsman had been indefinitely suspended by the BCCI along with Hardik Pandya for their controversial comments on a television show.
The bans on the duo were lifted provisionally by the governing body recently, making the two players available for selections once again. While Pandya was immediately flown to New Zealand to join up with India’s limited-overs squad, Rahul had to contend with a spot in the India A team for their ongoing series against England Lions.
In the one-day series between the two sides prior to the unofficial two-match Test series , Rahul had failed to fire with the bat with just 55 runs to show from three innings.
On Friday, Rahul collected 11 boundaries in his 182-ball vigil at the crease and will look to get to the three-figure mark when play resumes on day three.
England Lions: 340 all out (first innings)
Ben Duckett: 80 (118)
Navdeep Saini: 5-79
India A: 219-1 (first innings)
KL Rahul: 88 not out (182)
Priyank Kirit Panchal: 89 not out (141)
As West Indies get ready to take on England in the third and final Test of the series, hosts’ pacer Shannon Gabriel has promised complete commitment from the side in their quest to complete a 3-0 whitewash.
The hosts lead the three-match series 2-0 after emphatic victories in Barbados and Antigua and will now take on the visitors in the final Test which begins at St. Lucia on Saturday.
Speaking to reporters on the eve of the clash, Gabriel said, “This series win a great achievement for us. Thinking back about last year when we lost 0-2 in Bangladesh, we were all hurting. Thankfully, we stuck together and we came out and showcased our talents. And to show some improvement. This series win has been great and I’m really pleased to be part of it.”
“We have great confidence and we are definitely looking to make it 3-0. We’re not just going for the win, we’re also playing for the people of the Caribbean and we are also playing for points to move up the Test rankings,” added the pacer.
The third Test will see Gabriel return to venue where he finished with match figures of 13-121 against Sri Lanka last year. Those are the third best match figures ever recorded in West Indies cricket history and the 30-year-old is looking to do more of the same against the Englishmen.
“This ground has been good to me I’ve had some good times on this ground where I bowled well and got wickets. I suits my style of fast bowling and I did well last year when we played against Sri Lanka. It’s a fast pitch with some bounce, so I’m expecting the same kind of pitch here again this year,” said Gabriel.
The Windies pacer has so far captured five wickets in the two Tests so far and has recently climbed to No11 in the ICC Test rankings for bowlers.