Tamim Iqbal led Duronto Rajshahi to a two-run win in a low-scoring thriller over his former team Chittagong Kings, albeit not with his bat, but with his brilliant fielding and captaincy at Mirpur on Saturday.
Kings lost three wickets in the first three balls of the last over to be bowled out for 97 runs, replying to Duronto’s 99-9 on a tricky Sher-e-Bangla Stadium wicket, where batting seemed to be the most difficult job.
Tamim easily outshone his counterpart Mahmudullah who did everything he could but failed to take his side home.
In a line-up that included Brendan Taylor, Jason Roy, Ravi Bopara, Jacob Oram and Shaun Tait – Mahmudullah was the only shining light with two wickets, two good catches and 40 runs, but unfortunately for King they all went in vain.
Despite a free-fall of wickets, Kings were always in the match until Mahmudullah holed out a catch at long-on to Tamim off Abul Hasan. Little did he imagine that he just did not give Tamim the catch but also the match, which they started as strong favourites.
Tamim, who is not known as the best Bangladeshi fielder, looked heavily charged-up and also used his bowlers cleverly that eventually proved decisive.
Kings started the final over with three runs needed and three wickets in hand and Tamim showed his captaincy material at that point giving the ball to Zimbabwean Sean Ervine.
Marshal Ayub, who earlier survived a dropped-catch by Ziaur Rahman, gave a catch at point to Abul Hasan off the first ball, giving Duronto just a glimmer of hope to turn the match around.
The next ball saw Enamul Haque Jr being run out with a direct throw from Tamim, who celebrated in a manner as if he had just won the World Cup, though there was still one wicket to take or four balls to bowl.
Everyone one associated with Duronto Rajshahi was over the moon when Arafat Sunny attempted a scoop-shot down the fine leg in the next ball but missed the line to be bowled.
This could not be imagined half-way through the game when Duronto were left pondering what went wrong with their batting that owed an unbeaten 22 from unsung Muktar Ali to reach close to 100-run mark.
Their woes began in the very first over when Tamim ran his partner Jahirul Islam out and saw one-down Moeen Ali caught by Mahmudullah off Jacob Oram for a duck.
Tamim struck two fours to ease off some pressure but got a leading edge off Mahmudullah who kept his cool and took the catch that went into the sky. Mahmudullah had Ervine caught by Tait next ball to leave Duronto at 33-4.
Not even their best well-wishers could think of a win for Duronto from this position against the formidable Kings, but they did it finally and did it in a very thrilling way.
Duronto Rajshahi 99-9 in 20 overs (Muktar Ali 22 not out, T Iqbal 17,Mahmudullah 2-17, R Bopara 2-19) v Chittagong Kings 97 in 19.3 overs (Mahmudullah 40, Mehrab Hossain Jr 18; A Hasan 3-20, SM Ervine2-6).
Result: Duronto Rajshahi won by 2 runs.
Man of the match: SM Ervine (DR)
-With New Age input