The Power Of Leg Spin On A Day Filled With Runs At ZACS 

February 9, Comilla Victorians will play against the formidable Dhaka. Previous day’s decision – Rishad Hossain will be seen in Comilla’s XI in the match against Dhaka. But before the match, the coach of the team Mohammad Salahuddin came and put his hand on Rishad’s head. 

The young leg-spinner didn’t have to say anything more. The helpless eyes of the coaches told the story. Even though Rishad was supposed to play the previous day, in the end, Comilla made the XI without Rishad.

It was Comilla’s seventh match in this year’s BPL. Rishad, who was a regular in the Bangladesh team’s New Zealand tour last December, was not included in the BPL team Comilla in the first 7 matches. Today against Chittagong Challengers, Comilla has lined up the XI with Rishad. The game was played at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, where the batting team averaged 162 runs in the last 12 BPL matches. 

On this ground, Fortune Barisal had built a mountain of 238 runs by batting earlier. Comilla gives the young leg-spinner a chance in a small boundary.

And what happened when Rishad got the chance to play the match? Comilla Victorians reached the BPL record of BPL by scoring runs by batting first. 

Comilla beat Chittagong Challengers by 73 runs after collecting 239 runs on the back of Will Jack’s century. 

Moeen Ali took four wickets including a hat-trick in the first match of this year’s BPL while Rishad also took four wickets this season.

At the end of the innings, Moeen came into discussion with a hat-trick, but it was Rishad who turned the match. 

Chittagong got off to a great start in their record run chase. They scored 61 runs without a wicket in the Powerplay, with 80 runs coming from the opening pair of Josh Brown and Tanjid Hasan. 

Tanjid became the first catch of Will Jacks when he upper cut Mustafizur short ball. Chittagong then stuck in Rishad Hossain to do the damage. 

Fast bowling and leg spin are always effective on a good batting wicket, Rishad taking four wickets for just 22 runs in the first match of this year’s BPL is proof of that. 

“We have completed 7 matches, today was the 8th match. He did not play till the 7th match. To bowl so well in the first match from outside for so long, it’s really unmatchable. See the impact. High scoring game, wickets have to be taken by someone. It has played a very good role in that respect,” said Liton after the game.

“The wicket was very batting friendly. The way they started, we were on the back foot a little bit. All the key bowlers gave runs earlier. Of course, Rishad’s first 2 overs are very important. He brought us back into the game,’’ he added.

What Rishad did for Comilla, experienced Imran Tahir did for Rangpur Riders in the night match. His victim was 5 wickets with 26 runs. Batting first against Khulna, Rangpur scored 219 runs for 5 wickets. Tahir did not let Khulna score that run. They lost the wickets of openers Evin Lewis and Enamul Haque to score 46 runs in the powerplay. Lewis was LBW to Shakib Al Hasan while Anamul’s wicket was Tahir’s first. Then Alex Hales had to be stopped by Mehdi’s catch off Tahir’s ball and made 60 off 33 balls. Before that, Tahir also took the wicket of Afif Hossain.

Khulna’s collapse started with Hales’ wicket, they lost 4 wickets out of 5 runs. Habibur Rahman’s wicket was Tahir’s fifth in the innings. Tahir became the second bowler after Amir Jamal to take 5 wickets in this BPL season. In this way, Tahir also got 500 wickets in T20. The leg spinner became only the fourth bowler after Dwayne Bravo, Rashid Khan and Sunil Narine to achieve this feat.

After the match, Tahir said that it was Rishad’s bowling in the day’s match that motivated him to improve on Chittagong’s wicket.

“I saw another leg spinner take 4 wickets. He has had success bowling along the wicket. Maybe that’s the correct way to say it in this version. The task was not easy. But I tried to do something good for the team. My job is to take wickets in the middle overs. Otherwise, the run must be stopped.

But the wicket came today, I am quite happy with it,” said Tahir.

“Look, there was not much for spinners in these conditions. It was a very good batting wicket. We were told earlier by the management that the wicket will be like this. I didn’t like hearing that very much (laughs). But yes, our profession has to go through this challenge. Be mentally strong, wait for opportunities. Experience should be used.” he said.

Tahir also told the strategy to survive as a leg spinner.

“Diversity is a way because here if you do the same thing twice in a row the batsmen will hit you,” concluded the South African.


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