BPL: Warner, Taskin star in Sixers’ narrow win over Vikings
David Warner scored his maiden BPL fifty. (Image: BPL website)

David Warner notched up his maiden Bangladesh Premier League half-century and along with Taskin Ahmed, sealed a close five-run win for Sylhet Sixers over Chittagong Vikings for their first win of the season. Warner struck 59 off 47 and was aided by Nicholas Pooran’s punchy unbeaten 32-ball 52 which dug Sixers out of a hole of 6/3 to give them 168 for 5.

Vikings ended on 163, with Taskin picking up 4 for 28. Robbie Frylinck’s all-round effort which saw him pick up three wickets and an unbeaten 44 runs went in vain as the Bangladesh fast bowler took out Sikander Raza in the 18th over and Nayeem Hasan for a duck. There were contributions in patches but it just wasn’t enough to help Vikings get over the line.

Ahmed struck in the first over, removing Mohammad Shehzad after the Afghanistan batsmen had gotten off the mark with a six. Cameron Delport and Mohammad Ashraful kept the Vikings in the game with a 57-run partnership for the second wicket. But it ended with the run-out of Delport. Ashraful became Taskin’s second victim, out caught by Sabir Rahman.

Legspinner Alok Kapali struck twice in two overs to remove the dangerous Mushfiqur Rahim cheaply in his first over, and then Mosaddek Hossain in his next. At 5/94, and seven overs left, Vikings needed one final flourishing partnership that could have rescue them. And Raza and Frylinck did exactly that, adding 37 in less than five overs. But the pressure of a steep asking rate mounted and Taskin cleaned up Raza to deal a big blow to the Vikings.

With 38 required off two overs, Frylinck gave them Vikings hope. He tonked two sixes off Mohammad Irfan to bring to equation down to 24 off the final over. Al-Amin Hossain ran into the bowl the final over, but he too was carted for two sixes. Seven needed off the final delivery, Hossain bowled a full toss, wide outside off of which only a single was taken. Frylinck hammered four sixes and one four but his effort were in vain.

Like Vikings’ little middle-order collapse, Sixers too had one at the top of the order. Frylinck and Hossain had struck early to leave Sixers reeling at 6/3. Liton Das fell off the second ball of the innings, and Nasir Hossain in the very next over. Rahman’s woeful form continued when he was cleaned up for a duck having faces five dot balls before that. The turning point was the partnership between Warner and Afif Hossan, who scores 45 off 28 with five fours and three sixes, even as Warner took his time. They put on 71 off 47 balls.

Frylinck returned to remove Warner for his third wicket, but not before the Sixers captain had gotten himself a hardworking fifty. At the other end, Pooran, who had struck a crucial 41 against the Comilla Victorians blazed away to a fifty of his own to give Vikings a total that looked highly improbable after their disastrous start.

Sixers’ first win of the competition took them one spot up to fourth. Vikings remained unchanged on third place with a superior net run rate.

Brief Scores: Sylhet Sixers 168 for 5 (Warner 59, Pooran 52*, Frylinck 3-26) beat Chittagong Vikings 163 for 7 (Frylinck 44*, Delport 38, Taskin 4-28) by five runs.