Riders overhaul Sylhet's 173
Rangpur Riders won by four wickets against the Sylhet Sixers as they chase down the 174-run target set by Sylhet.
Mashrafe Bin Mortaza ensured that Rangpur got over the line as he struck a 10-ball 17 with two big sixes at the death. The Rangpur skipper continued his rich vein of form after he hit a 17-ball 42 in Riders' last match against Chittagong Vikings.
It was not the Chris Gayle-Brendon McCullum duo which enthralled the crowd as the Riders opted for a different opening pair in their chase of Sylhet's 173. Riders' opened the innings with Gayle and Ziaur Rahman instead of their regular Gayle-McCullum pairing but Gayle fell in the first over of the innings, trying to whack Tim Bresnan but only managing to lift it to mid-on.
McCullum got stuck into Bresnan in the third over, hitting the bowler for two fours and six. Ziaur matched him in the fifth over as he hit Sohali Tanvir for two fours and a six as well.
Ziaur played a cameo 18-ball 36 knock as he went after the Sylhet bowlers at the start of the innings. He took on Nabil Samad in the seventh over, hitting him for a maximum and a four before he was stumped in the fourth ball of the over. The 12th,13th and the 14th over saw some tight bowling from Sylhet as Kamrul Islam Rabbi and Abul Hasan managed to put some pressure on the batsmen out in the middle. The pressure told as McCullum tried to hit Hasan out of the ground but only managed to loop it high up in the air and was caught at square leg. McCullum fell after a 38-ball 44.
Rangpur were in a bit of bother after Samiullah Shenwari was run out following a Nasir Hossain direct hit. Ravi Bopara, who was dropped twice in the 17th over, was run out in the 18th over. In the end it was Mashrafe Bin Mortaza who carried Rangpur to the finishing line as he hit a few big ones. Nahidul Islam at the other end also played a hand as Rangpur defeated the Sixers with four wickets to spare.
Earlier, Babar Azam and Sabbir Hossain helped Sylhet Sixers put on 173 runs on the board agaist Rangpur Riders.
Rangpur Riders skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza won the toss and elected to field first at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium in Chittagong.
Sylhet lost an wicket as early as the second over as Nurul Hasan fell prey to Nazmul Islam's delivery, out leg-before. In the fourth over Nazmul than tempted Nasir Hossain into coming down the wicket and the batsman completely missed the delivery and was out stumped.
Babar Azam and Sabbir Hossain put on a 74-run fourth-wicket partnership to give momentum to the Sylhet innings after Andre Fletcher fell in the eight over. Babar hit a brilliant 37-ball 54 with four fours and a six. Babar was ably supported by Sabbir Rahman and they picked up 18 runs of the 12th over, bowled by Rubel Hossain.
Nazmul remained the star of the Rangpur outfit on the field and it was his direct hit that removed the dangerous Babar Azam. Nazmul also finished his bowling spell with figures of three for 18 from four overs.
Sabbir scored a 37-ball 44 before Rangpur skipper Mashrafe bowled him in the 19th over.
Tim Bresnan and Ross Whiteley played cameo knocks which took Sylhet to 173 for the loss of five wickets in their 20 overs.