Rajshahi Kings defeated Rangpur Riders by 12 runs in the first match of the third and final phase of Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20's fourth edition in Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Satdium on Friday.
Rangpur managed to score 150 losing five wickets in their stipulated 20 overs chasing Rajshahi’s 162/5.
In-form Mohammad Mithun was the top scorer for Rangpur with an unbeaten 64-run innings off 36 balls, featuring three boundaries and four maximums.
All-rounder Shahid Afridi did not play this match as he returned home due to family reasons. His replacement, Nasir Jamshed was the second highest scorer for Rangpur with 27 runs.
Soumya Sarkar came in to bat at No 4 and yet again failed to score big. The out-of-form dashing left-hander scored eight off 10 deliveries before being cleaned up by spinner Nazmul Islam while charging down the track.
Mohammad Sami bowled a brilliant 19th over for Rajshahi to ensure victory. At that stage, Rangpur needed 28 runs from 12 balls with two set batsmen - Mithun and captain Naeem Islam - at the crease. But Sami, the Pakistan paceman, bowled impressively conceding just three runs to halt Rangpur.
Rajshahi’s Nazmul took two wickets conceding just 19 runs.
Earlier, Rangpur won the toss and elected to field first. Rangpur struck straight away as opening bowler Sohag Gazi made yet another breakthrough in the very first over with his off spin. In-form Rajshahi opening batsman Mominul Haque was trapped in front right after hitting a boundary.
One-drop batsman Sabbir Rahman then played some beautiful shots during his 31-run innings. But Rajshahi lost wickets in key moments of the middle stages and at one stage were reeling on 92 for 5 in 14 overs.
But skipper Darren Sammy and middle-order batsman Umar Akmal propelled the innings, posting 70 runs for the unbroken sixth-wicket partnership.
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Rajshahi's Sammy and Umar Akmal congratulate each other following the end of their innings DHAKA TRIBUNE
Sammy blasted four sixes during his unbeaten 18-ball 44 while Umar was undefeated on 33 at the other end.
Rajshahi eventually registered a challenging total of 162/5.
Liam Dawson bagged two wickets for Rangpur while Arafat Sunny notched one giving away just 17 runs.
Sammy was adjudged player of the match for what turned out to be a match-winning innings.
This was Rajshahi's third win in seven matches while Rangpur tasted their second defeat from the same number of outings.
Rangpur Riders 150/5
(Mithun 64*, Jamshed 27, Nazmul 2/19) by lost to Rajshahi Kings 162/5
(Sammy 44*, Umar 33*, Dawson 2/15) by 12 runs
WHAT SAMMY SAID
It’s always good to win cricket matches. So far there were problems in all the game’s chases. We wanted to bowl first. But it was good to win the toss. We planned very well for this game. We scored 162. We just put our target. Our bowlers brought us back, especially in the powerplays. We have good enough bowlers to bring breakthroughs. In the end, Mohammad Sami’s two overs were good enough to make this match victory.
Every game is important. If you look at the table, Rangpur are on the top of the table with 10 points I think. You know every game is like a final. It’s important to get points. We have the first goal, which is to make the playoffs. We could do that if we continue to improve in our execution in the field. [Saturday] is another day. This win will definitely give us some confidence going forward.