Mahedi was outstanding as the all-rounder scored a crucial 50 run innings from just 32 balls with three fours and fours sixes
An outstanding all-round performance from Mahedi Hasan sealed a nail biting 2-run win for Minister Group Rajshahi against Beximco Dhaka during the curtain raiser of Bangabandhu T20 cup at Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla national cricket stadium on Tuesday.
Dhaka needed 36 runs from last three overs and two not-out batsmen Mushfiqur Rahim and Sabbir Rahman were expected to cruise the ship home with their vast experience in this format.
But Rajshahi pacer Ebadat Hossian took the wicket of Mushfiq (41 from 34 deliveries) in the very first ball of 18th over and conceded just six in that over to make the equation very tough.
However, Dhaka all-rounder Muktar Ali started counter attacking by smashing three sixes to get 21 runs in next over bowled by Farhad Reza and the pendulum swung once again as they needed just nine runs in last over with the in-form batsman on strike.
Mahedi was given the responsibility of defending those runs and the off-spinner did that with sheer brilliance as the man of the match conceded just six runs to clinch the cliff-hanger.
Muktar, who was hitting the ball so well in the 19th over, played four dot balls in the final over and managed to score just one boundary in the end even after getting a free hit. Sabbir Rahman ( 5 from 7 balls) remained unbeaten at the other end for Dhaka.
Earlier, Dhaka captain Mushfiq on the toss and elect to bowl first.
Rajshahi started their innings well riding on opener Aminul Islam Emon’s willow. The right hander scored 35 runs from 25 deliveries with five boundaries and one sixer.
Emon got two lives early on his innings against Dhaka pacer Rubel Hossian and utilized them by playing some beautiful strokes.
Rajshahi skipper Najmul Hossian Shanto (17) was the first batsman who got out in fourth over after hitting two sixes.
Later Rajshahi lost three quick wickets in the middle overs and from 65 for 2 they were reduced to 65 for five between eighth and ninth over.
All eyes were on veteran Mohammad Ashraful as the experienced batsman went to bat at number four for Rajshahi. But Ashraful scored only five runs from nine deliveries and credit of his wicket also goes to Dhaka’s Mohammad Naim Sheikh for a brilliant flying catch at backward point of a Muktar delivery.
But Mahedi and wicketkeeper batsman Nurul Hasan Sohan halted the slide for Rajshahi and formed a superb 89-run partnership in sixth wicket with entertaining shots all around.
Mahedi was outstanding as the all-rounder scored a crucial 50 run innings from just 32 balls with three fours and fours sixes.
Sohan also played well in that partnership with his little cameo of 39 runs from just 20 balls with two fours and three sixes.
After these two got out, Farhad Reza finished the innings for Rajshahi with a good note by smashing a huge six over long on in the last ball of the innings and eventually Rajshahi post a challenging 169 run total losing nine wickets on a good batting wicket.
Mukter was the star performer with the ball for Dhaka as the all-rounder picked three wickets conceding just 22 runs.