Defending champions Rangpur Riders failed to hold their nerve in another nail-biting finish against Rajshahi Kings at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Sunday.
They embraced the second straight defeat from the winning position. Riders were given an easy 135 runs to chase down in 20 overs. They even looked favourite in the last over of the match when only 10 runs were required with set batsman Rilee Rossouw on batting.
But Mustafizur Rahman’s brilliant last over deprived Riders of the possible win. Mustafizur allowed just two of the nine runs Rangpur needed to win. Zakir Hasan hit two fours and a six to score a match-winning 42-run innings. File photoRajshahi Kings pacer Mustafizur Rahman conceded just three runs in the final over to help his team beat Rangpur Riders by five runs in a low-scoring Bangladesh Premier League match on Sunday.
It was frustrating for Rilee Rossouw, who took a single in the first ball of the over, and then saw Farhad Reza failing to make a single run in the next three deliveries.
The next ball got them a bye, meaning Rossouw needed to hit a six to force a super over. He could only take a single as Kings sealed their second win of the tourney.
Rangpur needed a chasable 136 to win the game, but their decision to send skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza to open the innings did not work as he failed to open his account.
Chris Gayle hit 23 off 14 balls courtesy of two fours and two sixes while Mohammad Mithun added 30. Rossouw was the top-scorer with 44 yet he could not guide the team to a win. Kamrul Islam Rabbi and Mohammad Hafeez bagged two wickets each for the Kings.
Batting first, Rajshahi made 135 for 8 thanks to a 42-run innings from Zakir Hasan. The man-of-the-match batsman hit two fours and a six in his unbeaten 36-ball knock. Hafeez made 26 runs while Soumya Sarkar scored 18 and Mominul Haque and RN ten Doeschate 14 each. After the Kings were kept to 135 for eight by Mashrafe Bin Mortaza’s Rangpur Riders, who won the toss and elected to field in the day game, it seemed a simple enough chase for a side that contained the likes of Chris Gayle, Rilee Roussow Mohammad Mithun and Ravi Bopara. However, only Roussow made a mark in the face of disciplined bowling from Rajshahi — apart from Kamrul Islam Rabbi, no bowler conceded runs at higher than 6.5 an over — as he scored an unbeaten 44 off 45 balls.
Gayle had started things off with a 14-ball 12 and his opening partner was a surprise as skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Bangladesh’s highest ODI wicket-taker and a lower order hitter, promoted himself to open for the first time. It did not end well, however, as he was caught behind off the second ball he faced from Kamrul in the first over.
Gayle was second to depart, also off Kamrul, with the score on 31, but Mithun and Roussow strung together a 40-run partnership. Mithun, Ravi Bopara and Benny Howell however departed in quick succession, leaving the score on 93 for five in the 15th over. Nahidul Islam then struck a 12-ball 16 and Roussow kept a cool head to bring the equation to nine off six after the 19th over ended with Nahidul’s departure.