BPL 4, Match 15 Review: Afridi special seals yet another game for Rangpur Riders
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It was the battle of equals when Barisal Bulls took on the Rangpur Riders. Both teams feature in the top four of the points table. The match would have only meant them consolidating their position. The Riders had a dream start this season with two very clinical wins but lost their plot thereafter. The Bulls have slowly crept up the ladder and been in sublime form.
The Barisal Bulls won the toss and opted to field first. They dropped Joshua Cobb from the lineup after having given him just a game. Out of form batsman, Dilshan Munaweera got another chance in his place. Jeevan Mendis got his first opportunity to play in the tournament today. The Rangpur Riders were happy with their combination of overseas players. Sachithra Senanayake was the new inclusion in the lineup.
The match kicked off with the explosive opening duo of Soumya Sarkar and Mohammad Shahzad opening the innings for Rangpur Riders. They both started off with boundaries but perished inside the powerplay overs. Taijul Islam accounted for both the dismissals. He got Sarkar stumped on 14 in the 3rd over. In his next over, he dismissed the dangerous Shahzad on 14. However, the opening duo laid the foundation for a late onslaught. With 58 runs in the power play, Riders looked in a good position.
Liam Dawson and Mohammad Mithun then put on a marathon stand to ease out things even further for the Naeem Islam-led Riders. They put 78 runs for the 3rd wicket in just 54 balls. Mithun, in particular, hit the big shots and Dawson had no problems playing the second fiddle to him. Mithun raced to a very well earned fifty in the process.
The partnership was eventually broken when Mithun missed a straighter one from Perera. He was dismissed in the 15th over on 62 off 44 balls with 6 fours and 2 sixes. In walked the dangerous Shahid Afridi. Afridi’s quickfire cameo of 22 runs came in just 10 balls with 2 sixes and a four. Dawson departed in the penultimate over after scoring 46 off 36 balls with 3 fours and a six. The Rangpur Riders finished with 175/6 on the board in their 20 overs. Taijul and Perera bagged 2 wickets each for the Barisal Bulls.
Also read – BPL 4, Match 14, Review: Dhaka Dynamites beat Chittagong Vikings by 19 runs
The Bulls had a stiff task ahead of them. They had the worst possible start as they lost opener Dilshan Munaweera on the very first ball of the run chase. Sohag Gazi managed to get an edge off his bat and Shahzad completed the catch. Jeevan Mendis, the other opener, was joined by Shahriar Nafees at the crease. Nafees hit a six and a four straight away but departed soon after that in the 3rd over. Gazi had him stumped on 1 to bring skipper Mushfiqur Rahim at the crease.
Rahim could not do much and perished on 8 just after the powerplay. Nadif Chowdury was the new man in. Meanwhile, Mendis worked his way through sensibly to add runs on the board. The runs came but not in quick time. Rangpur Riders had a good strangle hold on the run-flow in the middle overs. It was Nadif’s three sixes in the 14th over off the bowling of Senanayake that brought the Barisal Bulls right back in the game.
With 64 needed off 36 balls, it could have been anybody’s game. Jeevan Mendis was then dropped on 43 by Arafat Sunny at mid-wicket only to add pressure on the Riders’ bowlers. Mendis reached his fifty in the same over to add salt to the wounds. Shahid Afridi provided the much-needed breakthrough for the Rangpur Riders. Nadif Chowdury was dismissed in the 16th over after having made a 41 off 25 balls. With the dismissal, the 74 run stand was broken too. Thisara Perera came in to bat at number 6.
Afridi struck yet again in the 18th over when he dismissed the well-set Jeevan Mendis on 57 off 53 balls (3 fours and 3 sixes). Rayad Emrit joined Perera at the centre. He departed in the very next over. Nothing seemed to work for the Bulls. They eventually ended with 163 in 19.4 overs. Gazi bagged 3 wickets as Rangpur Riders won by 12 runs.
Rangpur Riders 175/6 in 20 overs (Mithun 62, Dawson 46, Taijul 2/27, Perera 2/31)
Barisal Bulls 163/10 in 19.4 overs (Mendis 57, Chowdury 41, Gazi 3/18, Afridi 2/31)
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