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Smith Earns Bragging Rights Over Warner in BPL Face-Off

Cricketnext Staff |January 6, 2019, 4:47 PM IST
Smith Earns Bragging Rights Over Warner in BPL Face-Off

The Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) match between Sylhet Sixers and Comilla Victorians on Sunday saw the Australian duo of David Warner and Steve Smith captaining the respective sides with the latter emerging victorious.

Smith won the toss and asked the Sixers to bat first at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Dhaka. Mahedi Hasan picked up the early wicket of Liton Das to hand the Sixers a setback early on in the innings. But Warner, who opened with Das, showed some intent early on and hit three boundaries en-route to his brief knock of 14 off 13 balls.

Unfortunately for the Australian, he was involved in a rather bizarre run-out in in the fifth over when he ended up at the same end as number three batsman Towhid Hridoy and found himself walking back to the pavilion as the bails were whipped off at the other end.

At 2-23, Afifi Hossain walked in and joined Hridoy, with the pair putting on 23 runs more for the third wicket before Hossain was bowled by Mohammad Saifuddin for 19. Hridoy was then trapped in front of the stumps by Pakistani veteran Shahid Afridi right after the change of overs to leave the two new batsmen Sabbir Rahman and Nicholas Pooran to fend for themselves.

It was Pooran who then took charge of proceedings with his knock of 41 off just 26 balls being instrumental in eventually taking the Sixers to a score of 127/8, even though he was dismissed in the eighteenth over off the bowling of Mohammad Shahid who ended the innings with excellent figures of 3-0-22-2.

As the Victorians then came out to bat, an expectant crowd waited to see how Smith would do after his counterpart failed to make much of an impression in the first innings. It didn’t take long for them to see the Australian at the crease as both Evin Lewis and Imrul Kayes were dismissed within five runs of each other, with the Victorians finding themselves at 21 for 2 in the fourth over.

Smith got off to a cautious start, considering the fact that the asking rate was not really a pressure at this point and conserving wickets was the more important thing. Like Warner, his stay at the crease was to be a brief one as he was adjudged caught behind off the bowling of Al-Amin Hossain.

The umpire did not give Smith out after the initial appeal, but wicket-keeper Liton Das was adamant that David Warner takes a review. Replays showed that Smith had indeed feathered the ball, and he made the long walk back to the pavilion having scored just 16 runs, much to the delight of the Sixers.

In walked veteran Shoaib Malik to join another man deserving of that tag, Tamim Iqbal, at the crease. But the Victorians kept losing wickets at regular intervals, and even after Malik had played 20 balls to bring up a score of 13 and get his eye in, he was dismissed by Sandeep Lamichhane, Sabbir Rahman making no mistake at mid-wicket.

Anamul Haque was soon dismissed to leave the Victorians at 83-5, and the dependable Tamim, who had played the role of sheet anchor up till this point was run-out on 35 to leave the Victorians in trouble at 97-6.

With 31 runs still needed for victory and three and a half overs left, it was left to Afridi and Mohammad Saifuddin to take the Victorians over the line. Afridi did not disappoint as the senior statesman among the two and his innings of 39 off 25 balls was enough to help his team chase down the score with one ball and four wickets remaining.

In typical Afridi fashion, he hit five fours and two sixes to complement his first innings bowling figures of 4-1-29-1, putting in a match-winning performance. The win for Comilla Victorians means they start off their 2019 BPL campaign in positive fashion.

On the other hand, Warner and his team will be hoping to bounce back in their next match against Chittagong Vikings, which will be played on January 9th.

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9 5 3 1 11 +0.17
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Rank Team Points Rating
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2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
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