In a start-studded sixth edition of the Bangladesh Premier League where many of the biggest names in Twenty20 cricket took part it were the Bangladeshi players who outshone the overseas recruits and ultimately decided the fate of the tournament.
The recently concluded BPL-6 saw an influx of international cricket stars like – Steve Smith, David Warner, AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and their inclusions were grabbing all the headlines before the start of the competition.
But after the conclusion of the tournament with the dust slowly settling down we can see that it was actually the Bangladeshi cricketers who outperformed these big names and played the leading role for their respective sides.
The final on Friday, between Comilla Victorians and Dhaka Dynamites held testament to this claim, with national stalwart Tamim Iqbal stealing the show with a blazing 141 off just 61 balls and setting up the win for Comilla.
The best performer with the bat from the other camp was also a Bangladeshi batsman, Rony Talukdar, who hit a defiant 66 off 38 balls, which further illustrated the dominance of local players in the sixth installment of BPL.
Dhaka skipper Sakib al Hasan, who played his third straight BPL final and failed to overcome the final hurdle for the second time in a row, was named the player of the tournament for the third time, after winning the honour twice before in the first two editions.
Sakib amassed 301 runs and topped the wicket-taker list with 23 wickets in 15 matches to take home the accolade.
Amidst a cluster of heavyweight names it was Rangpur Riders’ South African recruit Rilee Rossouw who topped the run-getter list with 558 runs in 14 matches, but his name was followed by two Bangladeshi nationals, Tamim and Mushfiqur Rahim.
Chittagong Vikings’ skipper Mushfiqur Rahim was second on the list before the final with 426 runs off 13 outings with three fifties, but Tamim jumped three spots in the final to overtake Mushfiq to finish with 467 runs off 14 matches.
Bangladeshi batsmen faired decently in the tournament with young talents like Rony and Yasir Ali also breaking into the top-ten run-getter list with 317 and 307 runs respectively but it was in the bowling department where the local bowlers, especially the pacers dominated the proceedings.
Eight of the ten highest wicket-taker of the tournament are Bangladeshis with the top-five spots occupied by only locals.
Taskin Ahmed, Masrafee bin Murtaza and Rubel Hossain claimed 22 wickets each to occupy the second, third and fourth position respectively while all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin took 20 wickets to be placed in fifth spot.
The performances of the local pacers would undoubtedly give the national team a boost before the 2019 ICC World Cup which will be held in the pace-friendly pitches of England and Wales.
It wasn’t all rosy for the Bangladeshi players, however, as one of the big five names of Bangladesh cricket Mahmudullah had a mediocre season while captaining the Khulna Titans, who finished dead-last in the tournament.
The lengthy tournament also took its toll on some players’ fitness with Taskin and Sakib getting ruled out from the forthcoming New Zealand series due to injuries picked up during the tournament.
Source: New Age.