Barisal Bulls finally registered a win after six consecutive defeats when they beat Rajshahi Kings by 17 runs in the Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20's fourth edition in Mirpur's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Thursday.
Rajshahi ended their chase on 144/7 after Barisal posted a challenging total of 161/4. Mushfiqur Rahim and his troop will no doubt be greatly relieved after ending their six-game winless run.
On the other hand, Rajshahi made life difficult for themselves as they suffered their sixth defeat and with only one game left, Darren Sammy and his side will have to win their last game against an in-form Chittagong Vikings on Saturday if they are to harbour any hopes of progressing to the playoffs.
Chasing 162, Rajshahi kept losing wickets right from the start with Mominul Haque (16), Nurul Hasan (12) and Sabbir Rahman (eight) all departing cheaply.
However, Samit Patel kept alive Rajshahi's slim hopes as the right-hander struck some lusty blows on way to his 51-ball 62, featuring seven fours and a six. But soon after his departure, Barisal took charge and heaped more pressure upon their opponents.
Rajshahi required 28 runs in the last over with captain Sammy at the crease but it was a humongous task even for the swashbuckling West Indian. As it were, Rajshahi eventually fell short by 17 runs.
[caption id="attachment_37631" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]
Barisal's Malan takes a brilliant running catch to dismiss Rajshahi's Sabbir Rahman DHAKA TRIBUNE
Player of the match Rayad Emrit bowled well, picking up 3/27 from his four overs while Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Monir Hossain, Enamul Haque and Thisara Perera all took a wicket each for Barisal.
Earlier, Barisal, asked to bat first, made a brilliant start, riding on opening batsman Dawid Malan and Fazle Mahmud as the pair added exactly 100 runs for the second wicket.
Malan was dismissed after scoring the highest 56 off just 33 balls, studded with half a dozen boundaries and three maximums while Fazle added a run-a-ball 43 with the help of four fours and a couple of sixes.
Although Mushfiq was out for eight, Perera (29 not out) and Shahriar Nafees (16 not out) blasted some late blows to take Barisal to a fighting total.
Rajshahi Kings 144/7
(Patel 62, Franklin 18, Emrit 3/27) lost to Barisal Bulls 161/4
(Malan 56, Fazle 43, Perera 29*) by 17 runs
M W L PTS
10 7 3 14
10 6 4 12
10 6 4 12
11 5 6 10
10 5 5 10
11 4 7 8
10 3 7 6
Comilla Victorians v Khulna Titans, 1:30pm
Dhaka Dynamites v Chittagong Vikings, 6:15pm
Both games will be held at SBNS, Mirpur