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20 January, 2019 00:00 00 AM

Rangpur stay in play-off contention

Sylhet pay dearly for flooring catches
Sports Reporter, Sylhet
Rangpur stay in play-off contention
Rangpur Riders captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (R ) warmly pats on the back of Farhad Reza who slams the match winning boundary to snatch a four-wicket thriller against Sylhet Sixers during their BPL-6 match at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium in Sylhet yesterday. BCB photo

Poor catching, lackadaisical fielding and lackluster bowling at the death cost Sylhet Sixers dearly as they ended up the Sylhet phase of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) with a four-wicket defeat to Rangpur Riders in a high-scoring thriller yesterday at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.

The home side shelled at least four catches against a mighty batting line up that was far more bolstered with the inclusion of AB de Villiers. They dropped an inform Rilee Rossouw thrice and he ended up, hitting 35 ball-61 which gave an  early impetus of gunning down Sylhet’s mammoth 194 for four.

It was the highest score in this season but for just 2 hours as Riders overhauled the target, making 195 for six with three balls to spare. Sixers in their last match at the home ground got a nice start to defend the target as Pakistan tall fast bowler Mohammad Irfan removed Chris Gayle for naught in the first over.

They were charged up but soon it was disappeared after they dropped four easy catches inside the first six overs—three against Roussouw and one against Alex Hales, who combined for a 63-run for the second wickets to lay a solid platform for AB de Villiers.

Wicket-keeper Zaker Ali failed to hold on the catch of Rossouw twice on 1 and 12, off Irfan and pace bowler Mehedi Hasan Rana. Later Nicholas Pooran dropped him on 20 off Taskin Ahmed at mid-on.

Hales got the life on 12 when Sylhet skipper David Warner, playing his last BPL game, dropped him at slip off Mehedi Rana.

Hales finally was out on 33 off 21 after Liton Das replaced Zaker Ali behind the wicket. Before dropping two sitters behind the wicket, Zaker Ali conceded 14 byes, much to the despair of the home crowd.

Riding on three lives Rossouw made Sylhet paying heavily as he shared a game-changing 67 off 37 with AB de Villiers who, playing his first BPL match, looked at his destructive best.

Villiers hammered 21 ball-34, hitting two fours and as many sixes, amongst which the typical AB maximum, the signature slog-swept six off Alok Kapali, getting down one knee to heave it high wide over long-on was the shot of day.

Just as it looked, Rossouw and Villiers would seal it without any fuss, Taskin Ahmed injected life into the match, dismissing Rossoue and Villiers at the same over.

Rossouw made his three lives count, clobbering nine fours and two sixes in his knock. Even though Rossouw and Villiers kept the side in a state that they didn’t need to think about asking run rate, the match still tilted towards Sylhet Sixers. Deprived to get wickets twice, Mehedi Rana kept leaking runs to give Rangpur a breathing space but again it was Taskin who brought the side back in contention with yet another double strike. This time he got Mohammad Mithun (14) and Nahidul (19), the last two recognised batsmen of Rangpur.

With 24 runs needing in last two overs, Farhad Reza and Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, MP, took Mehedi Rana in disdain to score 19 runs in the penultimate over, leaving them a requirement of just five runs in the last over.

Farhad Reza, who sank the side in the last over against Rajshahi Kings, failing to take eight runs against Mustafizur Rahman this time buried the nightmare with a straight drive for boundary to seal the deal.

And Sylhet thus sent-off their captain Warner, who literally gave his maximum effort with an elbow problem, with a defeat.

Taskin finished with four for 42 but it went vain finally, so as Sabbir Rahman’s stellar effort with bat. Sabbir was key in Sylhet’s gigantic total, smashing 51 ball-85, laced with five fours and six sixes. And this was the first significant score of him after the completion of his six-month ban following a poor off-field demeanor.

He was ably supported by Nicholas Pooran who gave the finishing touch with 47 off 27, including four fours and three sixes. On his last BPL match, Warner made 19 off 21. Coming here with an aspiration to make the home as fortress, Sylhet finally ended up with three defeats in four matches here and stayed at the second bottom in the point table. Rangpur stayed in play-off contention with six points in seven matches.



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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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