Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza proved himself lucky again as his new team Rangpur Riders stormed into the final of the 5th Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 Cricket eliminating Tamim Iqbal-led high-flying Comilla Victorians by 36 runs in the much-talked about 2nd qualifier at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on Monday, UNB reports.
Rangpur Riders will play Shakib-Al Hasan’s defending champions Dhaka Dynamites in the final of the seven-team franchise-based league on Tuesday at 6 pm at the same venue.
Replying to Rangpur Riders mamoth total of 192 runs, Comilla Victorians were all out for 156 runs in the last ball of the stipulated 20 overs.
Comilla made a good start scoring 56 runs in the opening stand by Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das, but their misery came when they lost two quick wickets in span of five balls in the same score of 56 runs.
Captain Mashrafe made the first breakthrough dismissing his counterpart Tamim Iqbal in the 4.5 overs. National opener Tamim Iqbal was caught by Shohag Gazi scoring 19-ball 36 runs with six fours and one six. Another national opener Imrul Kayes back to the pavilion with a duck in the next over (5.4), stumped by Mohammad Mithun, off a Shohag Gazi delivery with same score.
Tamim’s opening partner for Comilla though Liton Das contributed 28-ball 39 runs featuring three fours and two sixes, West Indian Marlon Samuels made 30-ball 27 runs with two fours and one six, English batsman Jos Buttler scored 16-ball 26 runs hitting one fours and two sixes while Pakistani all-rounder Shoaib Malik added 14-ball 10 runs, were the other notable batsman for Comilla reaching the double figure.
Pacer Rubel Hossain was most successful among the Rangpur bowler grabbing three wickets for 34, Ravi Bopara and Isuru Udana claimd two wickets each conceding 17 and 24 runs while e Shohag Gazi, Nazmul Islam and Mashrafe Bin Mortaza took one wicket each conceding 15, 25 and 40 runs respectively.
Earlier, a brilliant century by Johnson Charles guided Mashrafe Bin Mortaza-led Rangpur Riders to a comfortable score of 192 for 3 in 20 overs against Tamim Iqbal-led Comilla Victorians
Rain stopped the match at 6:35pm on the schedule day on Sunday when Rangpur Riders scored 55 for 1 in 7 overs losing the valuable wicket of West Indian batting sensation Chris Gayle (3).
Earlier, Comilla Victorians opted to bowl first against Rangpur Riders after winning the toss in the 2nd qualifier at rain-soaked Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur on Sunday.
After a marathon discussion, meeting and drama among BPL Governing Council, Bangladesh Cricket Board and captains and officials of the participating teams on Sunday night, the BPL authorities decided to hold the remaining part of the match from Monday evening.
As per the decision, Rangpur Riders resumed the batting with their overnight collection of 55 for 1 in 7 overs and piled up the huge total featuring a 151-run 2nd wicket partnership by West Indian batsman Johnson Charles and Kiwi batsman Brendon McCullum.
Johnson Charles quick-fired unconquered 105 runs off 63 balls, hitting nine fours and seven sixes to be adjudged man of the match while McCullum contributed 46-ball 78 runs with one four and nine sixes before he was bowled by Hasan Ali at 178 for 2 in 19 overs.
Number four batsman Ravi Bopara went back to the pavilion quickly in his first ball with a duck when scoreboard was showing 184 for 3 in 19.3 overs. Mashrafe remained not out on zero.
Hasan Ali, Mohammad Saifuddin and Mahedi Hasan took one wicket each conceding 23, 38 and 44 runs respectively.
Both the Victorians and Riders made one change to their previous line-up. Rangpur Riders brought in Isuru Udana for Lasith Malinga who left for Sri Lanka while Comilla Victorians picked Graeme Cremer in place of Dwayne Bravo.
Rangpur Riders: Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles, Brendon McCullum, Mohammad Mithun, Ravi Bopara, Nahidul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza, Nazmul Islam, Isuru Udana and Sohag Gazi
Comilla Victorians: Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Imrul Kayes, Jos Buttler, Marlon Samuels, Shoaib Malik, Hasan Ali, Mahedi Hasan, Graeme Cremer, Al-Amin Hossain and Mohammad Saifuddin.