An unbeaten 54 from opener Tamim Iqbal guided Comilla Victorians to a seven-wicket win over Chittagong Vikings in a rare low-scoring match of the Chattogram leg of the Bangladesh Premier League on Tuesday.
The win put Comilla at the top of the table with seven wins from 10 games while Chittagong, who were at the top before Rangpur Riders pipped them on run rate on Monday night, have slipped to third with six wins from 10 games.
The six previous matches at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram had seen one team scoring at least 180 in 20 overs, but the Vikings ensured that trend would be bucked by being restricted to 116 for eight in 19 overs after the match was reduced by one over because of unseasonal rainfall before the toss.
Chittagong skipper Mushfiqur Rahim chose to bat first, but there was very little resistance after opener Mohammad Shahzad's 33 and before number eight batsman Mosaddek Hossain's unbeaten 43, the innings' top score that came off 25 balls with the help of three fours and three sixes.
Comilla pacers Mohammad Saifuddin and Wahab Riaz had identical figures of two wickets for 23 runs off four overs, but it was an economical and incisive spell from Shahid Afridi that did the most damage. The former Pakistan all-rounder conceded just 10 runs from four overs while scalping two wickets.
Chittagong were at risk of falling for a sub-100 total at 70 for seven and then 92 for eight, but Mosaddek's innings ensured that they averted disaster.
It was not enough, however, as Comilla had virtually no trouble in chasing down the total, which they did with 3.2 overs to spare. After opener Anamul Haque was dismissed for eight by pacer Khaled Ahmed, Tamim and Shamsur Rahman put on 65 runs for the second wicket. Even after pacer Abu Jayed dismissed the latter and Comilla skipper Imrul Kayes in the 14th and 16th overs, the runs on the board were just not enough to give Comilla a scare.
Tamim, who hit four boundaries and two sixes in his 51-ball innings, took the team home in the company of the big-hitting Thisara Perera.