A scintillating cameo towards the end of the innings from two-time T20 World Cup winning captain Darren Sammy and an outstanding spell of fast bowling in the death overs from Pakistan speedster Mohammad Sami took the Rajshahi Kings to their third win in the tournament, against the Rangpur Riders at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today in match 25 of the BPL.
The Rangpur Riders opted to bowl first after winning the toss and had the Kings on the back-foot right away as Test match star Mominul Haque was dismissed off just the third ball of the innings. Junaid Siddiqui and Sabbir Rehman then combined to take the team to 51 by the end of the powerplay as the Kings looked set to post a huge total. The Riders bowlers though, had other ideas as they struck at regular intervals with the big scalps of Rehman, Siddiqui and Samit Patel to reduce the Kings to 92 for 5 in the 14th over.
The innings seemed to have lost all steam but Umar Akmal and Darren Sammy combined fruitfully to smash the last 3 overs for 55 runs and take the score to a respectable 162.
The Riders began their chase in an inexplicably sedate manner and crawled to just 25 at the end of 6 overs with the usually explosive openers, Mohammad Shehzad and Nasir Jamshed swapping aggression for safety. After losing Shehzad in the 7th over, no. 3 Mohammad Mithun tried to infuse some life back in the innings with his big hits but the Riders were always behind the asking rate.
Tight bowling in the middle overs by the Kings bowlers ensured the Riders were left with a mountain to climb at the end, with 55 runs needed off 4 overs. Experienced seamer Mohammad Sami bowled 2 of these overs for just 14, including just 3 off the penultimate one, to ensure there were no last minute jitters in the Kings camp and despite a fighting unbeaten 64 off just 36 balls by Mithun, the Riders couldn’t get over the line.
Despite the loss, Rangpur Riders remain at the top of the table while this win takes the Rajshahi Kings to the fifth spot. Darren Sammy, for his explosive 44 off just 18 balls with 4 sixes, was named the man of the match.
Brief Scores: Rajshahi Kings - 162/5 (Darren Sammy 44, Umar Akmal 33, Liam Dawson 2 for 15, Muktar Ali 1 for 5); Rangpur Riders - 150/5 (Mohammad Mithun 64, Nasir Jamshed 27, Nazmul Islam 2 for 19, Mohammad Sami 1 for 26)
Result: Rajshahi Kings won by 12 runs.
Titans outclass bulls to reach top of the table
An economical spell of bowling from Junaid Khan backed up by an enterprising partnership between Shuvagata Hom and Mahmudullah gave the Khulna Titans their 6th win of the tournament in match 26 of the BPL against the Barisal Bulls at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
Choosing to bat first after winning the toss, the Bulls innings never really got out of first gear as they sturuggled to lift the run rate throughout. Skipper Mahmudullah and Pakistan pacer Junaid Khan kept things really tight in the first 4 overs of the innings where the Bulls could only muster 20 for the loss of opener David Malan.
Batting was a struggle from there on as the backup bowlers did an excellent job in containing the batsmen in the middle overs, with Shafiul Islam, Mosharraf Hossain and Kevon Cooper keeping the batsmen on a tight leash. Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera tried to lift the run rate in the end overs along with Enamul Haque but they could only succeed in taking their team to a below par total of 119.
The Khulna Titans innings began in dramatic fashion as in the very first over, opener Hasanuzzaman got a grubber from Taijul Islam that he could do nothing about and crashed into his stumps. Two more quick wickets followed as the Titans slipped to 49 for 3 in the ninth over, but the experienced duo of Shuvagata Hom and captain Mahmudullah got together to ensure there were no more hiccups in the small chase as they struck together a 57-run partnership in less than 8 overs to take their team within touching distance of the target.
Hom fell to pacer Rumman Raees but Mahmudullah sealed the job in the company of young West Indian wicket-keeper Nicholas Pooran with more than an over to spare.
The win took Khulna Titans to the top of the table whereas the Bulls have now slipped to no. 6. Shuvagata Hom, for his composed innings of 40 in the run chase was named the man of the match.
Brief Scores: Barisal Bulls - 119/5 (Mushfiqur Rahim 31, Shahriar Nafees 23, Junaid Khan 1 for 11, Mosharraf Hossain 1 for 16); Khulna Titans - 120/4 (Shuvagata Hom 40, Mahmudullah 36, Rumman Raees 2 for 13, Taijul Islam 1 for 14)
Result: Khulna Titans won by 6 wickets.