Bowling figures could hardly tell you anything about what Mustafizur Rahman did to secure a five-run victory for the Rajshahi Kings in the day's first Bangladesh Premier League encounter against Rangpur Riders at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
The left-arm seamer conceded 17 runs from his four overs without any wickets, but his superb bowling in the death overs gave Rajshahi captain Mehedi Hasan Miraz an unlikely win.
Rangpur seemed to be cruising until the penultimate over of their 136-run chase but, with nine runs required off the final six balls, Mustafizur gave away a single before tying up Farhad Reza for three balls. Rilee Rossouw then scampered through for a bye off the fifth ball to bring the equation down to seven runs required off the last ball. However, Mustafizur denied Rossouw the chance to take the game into a Super Over, with the batsman managing only one run.
In Thisara Perera's case in the second match between Comilla Victorians and Chittagong Vikings, the figures themselves speak volumes about the devastation that he wrought during his unbeaten 26-ball 74 that contained three fours and eight sixes. The Sri Lanka's explosive innings guided Comilla to 184 for five.
The left-hander was merciless against Robbie Frylinck in the penultimate over, smiting four sixes and a boundary to hammer 32 runs from the penultimate over.
However, in the end, the bowlers could not do justice to Perera's innings and, on the back of Mushfiqur Rahim's brilliant 41-ball 75, Chittagong won the game by four wickets.
The BPL caravan now will travel to Sylhet, where Khulna Titans meet Rajshahi Kings and Sylhet Sixers face Comilla Victorians in the Sylhet leg's opening fixtures tomorrow.