Rangpur Riders sealed a thrilling four-wicket win against Sylhet Sixers in their BPL 2017 match at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Cricket Stadium Tuesday.
Chasing a challenging 174-run target, Rangpur needed 30 runs in the last three overs with five wickets in hand. England’s Ravi Bopara (32*) and captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza (1*) was batting at that moment. Two balls later, Rangpur lost the wicket of Bopara and after that, 20 were required from 12 deliveries.
Mashrafe struck a superb six in the first ball of the 19th over against Pakistan’s Sohail Tanvir to take his team closer to victory. Mashrafe also struck another sixer in the last over against England’s Tim Bresnan to ensure a vital win. Eventually, Rangpur chased down their target with two balls to spare. Mashrafe was unbeaten on 17 off 10 balls while all-rounder Nahidul Islam was undefeated on 14 runs off seven deliveries.
New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum was the top-scorer for Rangpur with 43 from 38 balls with four fours and two sixes.
Earlier, Mashrafe elected to field.
The West Indies’ Andre Fletcher opened the innings with wicketkeeper-batsman Nurul Hasan Sohan for Sylhet. Sylhet got a lucky escape in the very first ball of the innings as Bopara missed a tough chance of Fletcher off the bowling of Mashrafe.
Rangpur however, soon got their first wicket in the second over as Nurul was trapped in front against spinner Nazmul Islam while trying to play a sweep shot.
Captain Nasir Hossain (four off eight balls) and Fletcher (26 off 17 balls) were dismissed within 7.2 overs and Sylhet were slightly under pressure.
But Pakistan’s Babar Azam and No 5 batsman Sabbir Rahman formed a crucial 74-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Babar played a good innings, scoring 54 off 37 balls with four boundaries and a sixer. Sabbir scored 44 off 37 balls before being cleaned up by Mashrafe in the third ball of the 19th over.
A late blitz from Bresnan lifted Rangpur past the 170-mark as they eventually post 173 losing five wickets in their stipulated 20 overs.
Nazmul took three wickets conceding just 18 runs for Rangpur. He also caught Babar short of the crease with a direct throw. Nazmul was later adjudged man of the match.
177/6 in 19.4 overs (McCullum 43, Ziaur 36) beat Sylhet Sixers
173/5 (Babar 54, Nazmul 3/18) by four wickets
WHAT THEY SAID
Nazmul Islam, Rangpur Riders spinner
[Tuesday's] win was very important for us. We had a plan to attack at the late period of the game. [Thisara] Perera won the last match for us and [Tuesday] Mashrafe [bin Mortaza] bhai did the job for us. Obviously our coach (Tom Moody) had a plan. Like in the last match, when Mashrafe bhai went out to bat at No 3, the plan was for [Chris] Gayle to rotate the strike and Mashrafe bhai to attack. Because whenever Gayle bats, bowlers get nervous. So we wanted to take advantage. And Mashrafe bhai is in good touch with the bat, which is very helpful for us.
Nabil Samad, Sylhet Sixers spinner
A few tight decisions went against us. A critical wide was given against us in the last over. Also, in the 16th over we had to bowl seven balls to complete the over. Our bowlers complained about it to the umpire. But umpire forced us to bowl one extra ball in that over. We have informed this to the BCB and now they will take decision. We needed to win and failed to do it. So obviously we are mentally down.