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Howell leads Sylhet to win over Comilla

Howell leads Sylhet to win over Comilla

Benny Howell's allround performance helps Sylhet Strikers edged Comilla Victorians past by 12 runs to register their fourth win in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on Monday (Feb 19). The victory indeed was inconsequential for Sylhet, who are already eliminated from the playoffs race but the defeat delayed Comilla's aspiration to book the playoffs as the second team. Rangpur Riders are the only team so far to confirm the playoffs.

Howell, a France-born English player, struck 31 ball-62 not out and took 1-36 in four overs to play the vital role in Sylhet's victory.

Howell's whirlwind batting was key in helping the side post 177-5 after electing to bat first. Comilla, despite a fine 58 ball-85 of captain Liton Das, fell 13 runs short to victory as they were able to put up 165-6.

Comilla were bolstered by the Caribbean duo Sunil Narine and Andre Russell, which made them formidable one on paper. Narine though performed to his reputation, taking 2-16 in four overs, Russell who is well reputed to help the side win the game from the jaws of defeat regardless of the equation, failed to do so in crunch moment.

He was the last man out after scoring 23 off 14 with three fours and one six.

Kennar Lewis gave Sylhet a fluent start with 25 ball-33 but Najmul Hossain Shanto continued his poor form, being out on 12 off 18. Yasir Ali was out for single digit figure before captain Mohammad Mithun played a 20 ball-28 to steady the innings.

Howell who came to the crease after the side slumped to 74-4 in 11th over, took the score to a safe zone by smashing six fours and four sixes in his 62.

Apart from Narine's 2-16, leg-spinner Rishad Hossain also took 2-37.

Imrul Kayes came back to open the innings with Liton but was dismissed for 3 while Towhid Hridoy had an off day in office after scoring 17 off 15. The situation was compounded when Caribbean star Johnson Charles played 21 balls for his 12 before being out. His slow knock eventually proved to be key in Comilla's defeat.

Liton who struck seven fours and three sixes for his 85 off 58 was dismissed by Tanzim Hasan Sakib in the first ball as Comilla began the last over, requiring 25 runs for a victory. 

Jaker Ali Anik then hit a six and took a single. When Russell got the strike, Comilla needed an improbable 17 off last three balls. Russell could hit only a four before being out in the last ball.