Weeks before the start of the world's top T20 cricket tournament, the Indian Premier League (IPL), Sunil Narine showed his class by destroying Fortune Barishal in the final of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2021-22 at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka on Friday. (More Cricket News)
Chasing a record-equalling third BPL title, Comilla Victorians captain Imrul Kayes won the toss and opted to bat first against the Shakib Al Hasan-led Barishal. Then, Narine took over.
Narine, one of the four players retained by Kolkata Knight Riders, hit Mujeeb Ur Rahman for two sixes and a four in the first over, and he dished out the same treatment to Shafiqul Islam as the first two overs of the final resulted in 36 runs for the two-time BPL champions.
Even as Shakib, who failed to find a buyer in the IPL mega auction, got the wicket of Liton Das, Narine continued his attacking play. In the fifth over, he hit Shakib for back-to-back fours, then a three off the last to reach his fifty. In just 21 balls, with the help of five fours and four sixes.
He, however, departed after making 57 off 23 balls with Mehedi Hasan Rana getting the prized wicket.
Besides Narine, the BPL title clash in Dhaka also witnessed the likes of Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Mustafizur Rahman, Moeen Ali, etc. taking the field from either side.
A win for Victorians will make them the joint-most successful side in the league's history - three with Minister Dhaka (2012, 2013 and 2016). They joined the BPL bandwagon in 2015.
Barishal are making a comeback in the league after three seasons, and they are eyeing their maiden BPL title.
Andre Russell (INR 12 crore), Varun Chakravarthy (INR 8 crore), Venkatesh Iyer (INR 8 crore) and Sunil Narine (INR 6 crore) were the four players retained by two-time IPL champions KKR before the 2022 mega auction.
In the IPL 2022 auction, KKR got Shreyas Iyer (Rs 12.25 crore) and named him the captain. They also bought Nitish Rana (Rs 8 crore), Shivam Mavi (Rs 7.25 crore) and Pat Cummins (Rs 7.25 crore), besides a host of other stars.
If there is no further outbreak of COVID in India, the IPL will begin on March 27. Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai will reportedly host the first match.
The IPL 2022 final, it is learnt, will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on June 5 (Sunday).