Darren Stevens wins third BPL T20 title with Comilla Victorians

Tuesday 15th December 2015

Men’s First XI

Darren Stevens made it three wins from three appearances in the Bangladesh Premier League final in Dhaka.

A tense finish saw a scampered single by matchwinner Alok Kapali edge Comilla Victorians past Barisal Bulls with the scores tied going into the final ball.

Victorians won the toss and invited the Bulls to bat first with Darren Stevens taking 1/19 in three overs.

The 39-year-old took a wicket with the fifth ball of his opening two-over spell, bowling Prasanna with an off-cutter deceived the Sri Lankan batsman.

After reducing the Bulls to 68-3, Mahmudullah (48) and Shahriar Nafees (44 not out) added 81 off 56 balls to help push the target beyond 150.

Chasing 157 to win, Bangladeshi opener Imrul Kayes (53) and Pakistan’s Ahmed Shehzad (30) added 54 in 43 balls for the second wicket.

Kayes clubbed three sixes as he played through the pain barrier with a hamstring strain in an excellent 37-ball knock.

Player of the tournament Sussex all-rounder Ashar Zaidi scored 16 off 14 balls as the middle order wobbled.

Stevens came in and was out of the first ball of the 19th over, caught by Prasanna at long-on off the bowling of Trinidad T20 specialist Kevon Cooper before skipper Mushrafe Mortaza holed out off the next ball.

Needing 23 off 10 balls, Shuvagata Hom hit three consecutive fours to give Comilla a chance in the final over.

However, a suicidal single ran out Hom off the first ball of over 20 but man-of-the-match Alok Kapali hit back-to-back fours and a two off Mohammad Sami to tie the score before sneaking home.

The winners collected a £170,000 cheque as Mushrafe lifted his third BPL title after winning the two previous editions with Stevens and Dhaka Gladiators in 2012 and 2013.

The Kent all-rounder will now return home to prepare for a busy 2016 season which will be his benefit year – his 12th at Kent.

Speaking before spectacular celebrations, Stevens said: “Imrul was excellent up top and Alok showed his class and his experience brilliantly.

“The training has been fantastic and the boys were brilliant throughout the tournament.”

“Winning my third trophy in Dhaka, this is why I love playing.

“People ask me when I am going to retire but how can you do that playing in front of crowds like this? You’re a long time retired so hopefully there's plenty of cricket left in me.”

See Darren Stevens in action for Kent next summer

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