Rangpur ride on Mashrafe's best

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza
Rangpur Riders captain Mashrafe Mortaza brought all his guile into play, picking up four wickets for just eleven runs as his side romped to a nine-wicket win over Comilla Victorians in a BPL encounter in Mirpur yesterday. Photo: Firoz Ahmed
Rangpur Riders vs Comilla Victorians

After defending champions Rangpur Riders' whopping nine-wicket win over Comilla Victorians in the sixth match of the sixth edition of the Bangladesh Premier League under the lights of the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday, Bangladeshi cricket fans would perhaps have been bemoaning the fact that Mashrafe Bin Mortaza retired from T20 Internationals almost two years ago.

The Rangpur skipper ended with figures of four wickets for 11 runs in four overs that included a wicket-maiden -- his best figures in T20 cricket -- showing the world that he still has what it takes to be among the best in the format.

After Mashrafe's impressive showing with the ball helped bundle out Comilla for just 63, their lowest total ever in BPL and the fourth lowest in the tournament's history, there was very little for Rangpur's West Indian opener Chris Gayle as he scored just one, before Junaid Siddique and Rilee Roussow took the team home with eight overs to spare.

The value of Mashrafe's deeds could best be gauged by the four batsmen he dismissed -- opener Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, the destructive Evin Lewis and opposition skipper Steven Smith. A recently elected Member of Parliament of Bangladesh, Mashrafe revealed after the match which one he valued most.

Rangpur Riders vs Comilla Victorians

"Tamim's wicket was the most important one out of the four wickets. [Steven] Smith's one was also important. Tamim always plays me well, be it in T20s, ODIs or Tests, he always plays well against me and has a very healthy strike rate. So his wicket increased my confidence. Other wickets were also important but Tamim's one was the most important one for me," Mashrafe said about dismissing his national teammate.

Bangladesh's ODI captain credited the team's performance and asserted that he always puts his international achievements ahead of domestic performances.

"I always take into account the international matches as those are more important. Although I also give my 100 per cent in these games, I always count the international matches [higher]."

Last week, the 35-year-old mentioned that he did not think he was missed by Bangladesh in T20Is and that 'nothing stays still for anyone' but surely, after today's fiery performance he provided a good reason to be longed for.