Rajshahi Kings' third victory kept their playoff hopes alive as skipper Darren Sammy's late-over blitz and disciplined bowling gave them a 12-run victory over Bangladesh Premier League leaders Rangpur Riders at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
Sammy's unbeaten 18-ball 44 drove the Kings to 162 for five after they were asked to bat first, but despite a brilliant unbeaten 36-ball 64 from Mohammad Mithun, Rangpur could only manage 150 for five at the end of the 20 overs.
Needing 63 runs from the last five overs, 16 runs from the 18th over brought the equation down to just 28 from the last two. Forhad Reza was the bowler who was punished for a six each by Mithun and Rangpur skipper Naeem Islam. But a brilliant 19th over followed from Mohammad Sami, which yielded just four singles.
Mithun did then hit a six in the last over, but the mountain was too steep to conquer.
Earlier, superb power-hitting during the death overs by Sammy allowed Rajshahi Kings to reach 162 for five.
Having been put into bat by Rangpur captain Naeem Islam, Rajshahi lost wickets at crucial junctures of the match, and were tottering at 5-92 inside 14 overs when Mehedi Hasan Miraz was dismissed by Muktar Ali. The sixth-wicket unbeaten partnership of 70 runs in 6.1 overs between Umar Akmal and Sammy gave Rajshahi the boost they needed desperately in the death overs.
Rajshahi skipper Sammy was his destructive best today, and smashed 44 from only 18 balls with three fours and four sixes to his name. Akmal made 33 from 30.
Liam Dawson of table-toppers Rangpur was the most successful bowler for his team, and he took two wickets for 15 runs in three overs. Sohag Gazi, Arafat Sunny and Muktar captured a wicket each.