Comilla hold Rangpur in place
After losing the afternoon game to Comilla Victorians by eight runs at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium today, Rangpur Riders will have to wait for the fate of the evening match between Dhaka Dynamites and Khulna Titans to know whether they will qualify for the Bangladesh Premierl League playoffs.
In the penultimate match of the group stage a late surge from Ziaur Rahman, which saw the out-of-favour national all-rounder hit three sixes and a four in an unbeaten 22-ball 38, eventually proved to be in vain as Rangpur finished on 162 for eight, eight short of Comilla's total of 170 for six.
Currently, the seven-team table is topped by Dhaka on 16 points, followed by Chittagong Vikings, Rajshahi Kings, Rangpur Riders and Khulna Titans on 12 points each. Khulna and Rangpur both have negative net run rates, but if Khulna wins the evening match beginning at 5:45 pm, they will go to 14 points and qualify as the second-placed side while Rangpur will miss the four-team cut.
In chase of a steep total, only Mohammad Shahzad in the top four contributed with 45 but Soumya Sarkar \, Mohammad Mithun and Liam Dawson all fell cheaply to compound Riders' problems, which only got worse when Mashrafe Bin Mortaza castled Shahzad to have Rangpur 57 for four after 8.3 overs. Shahid Afridi engineered a mini-recovery with a 19-ball 38 featuring three fours and two sixes, but he was stumped off Rashid Khan off the last ball of the 15th over with the score on 114 for six.
After that, Ziaur's fireworks kept the game alive but there could only have been one winner. Rashid Khan was the best bowler with three for 13 off four overs, while Nabil Samad and Mashrafe took two each.
Earlier, a flying start by Comilla Victorians openers Imrul Kayes and Khalid Latif enabled their side to reach 170 for 6.
Rangpur captain Naeem Islam won the toss and invited Comilla to bat first. Both Imrul and Khalid were intent to score quickly, and gave Rangpur spinners a good hiding early in the innings. The first-wicket stand reached 88 in 10.2 overs when Arafat Sunny sent back Imrul.
Imrul scored 52 from 35 balls with seven fours and two sixes to his name. Khalid contributed to Comilla’s cause with 43 from 36. Some big hits late in the innings from Ashar Zaidi and Rashid Khan took the Victorians to their second highest total of BPL 2016.
For Rangpur, Rubel Hossain and Arafat took two wickets each. Rubel gave away 30 runs in four overs while Arafat conceded 29 in three.