Mahmudullah produced a brave all-round performance but it was not enough as Comilla Victorians edged Barisal Bulls by three wickets in a tense final to lift the Bangladesh Premier League title on Tuesday.
Bulls skipper Mahmudullah did everything he could as he struck 48 off 36 balls, grabbed two crucial wickets and played a hand in a key run out before taking an outstanding catch to dismiss Mashrafee bin Murtaza.
But everything went in vain after Alok Kapali decided to turn it as the match of his life hitting an unbeaten 39 off 28 balls to snatch the victory from the jaws of defeat.
The match looked to have swung decisively towards Bulls’ way once Shuvagata Hom was run out in the first ball of the final over leaving Victorians still to get another 12 runs.
But Kapali smashed two successive fours before he nudged the last ball towards the fine leg to complete the win as Victorians reached 157-7 after they had restricted the Bulls to 156-4.
Imrul Kayes laid the foundation for their win with 53 off 37 balls, his second fifty in as many matches that was supported by Ahmed Shehzad, who made 30 off 24 balls.
The right-left combination piled up 54 runs in the second wicket stand before Mahmudullah removed both with his off spin and then had his hand in run out of Ashar Zaidi to turn the table.
But Kapali kept his cool to bail out Victorians, who gave their skipper Mashrafee his third BPL title after the paceman led Dhaka Gladiators to glory on the previous two occasions.
Earlier it was the turn for Mahmudllah and Shahriar Nafees (44 not out) to give their experience some value as the duo shared 81 runs for the fourth wicket to rein in a potential collapse for Bulls.
Victorians did well to contain Bulls’ top-order batsmen, who had begun promisingly before being perished abruptly.
Zaidi made the first breakthrough when he trapped Mehedi Maruf plumb in front for 11 before Darren Stevens bowled Sekkuge Prasanna for 33 off 19.
Victorians heaved a sigh of relief once Mashrafee bowled Sabbir Rahman (nine). This could have been very well a defining moment in the match only for Shahriar and Mahmudullah to make things different.
The duo was not separated until the final over when Nuwan Kulasekara bowled Mahmudullah, who struck six fours and a six. Kevon Cooper struck a six off next ball to retain the strike, leaving Shahriar stranded with an unbeaten innings on the other side.
Kapali was awarded as the man of the final and his team-mate Zaidi, who showed brilliant all-round performance throughout the championship, was adjudged as the man of the tournament.
Barisal Bulls 156-4 in 20 overs (Mahmudullah 48, Shahriar 44 not out, Prasanna 33) v Comilla Victorians 157-7 in 20 overs (Imrul 53, Kapali 39 not out, Shehzad 30; Mahmudullah 2-23, Cooper 2-31)
Result: Comilla Victorians won by 3 wickets.
Man of the match: Alok Kapali (CV)
– source: newagebd