BPL 4, Match 41, Review: Comilla Victorians upset the Rangpur Riders in crucial encounter

BPL 4, Match 41, Review: Comilla Victorians upset the Rangpur Riders in crucial encounter

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan. (Photo Source: BPL)

A lot was at stake for the Rangpur Riders when they took on Comilla Victorians in the penultimate league game. A win for the Riders would have given them an opportunity to finish in the top two provided Khulna Titans lost their last league game. For the Victorians, it was about playing for pride. The defending champions have had a dismal outing this season. A consolation win in this match would have helped them avoid the wooden spoon.

Coming into the match, the Rangpur Riders won the toss and opted to bowl first. The agenda was to chase and keep a check on the net run rate. They played with the same team that featured in the last game. The Comilla Victorians brought in Pakistani spinner Ashar Zaidi in the playing eleven. Ahmed Shehzad, the in-form batsman, had to miss out. Khalid Latif was promoted to open the innings with Imrul Kayes in absence of Shehzad.

The Comilla Victorians had nothing to lose. And that reflected in the way their openers approached the game. Both openers took their chances and marshaled along with ease. With 57 runs in the powerplay, they were in full command of their game. The opening stand was worth 88 runs in 62 balls. En route to the 88-run stand, Imrul Kayes brought up his first fifty of the season.

The partnership was broken by Arafat Sunny when he dismissed Kayes on 52. Kayes took 35 balls for his 52 that included 7 fours and 2 sixes. Marlon Samuels was the new man in. He continued his good form. Khalid Latif lost his wicket in the 13th over as Sunny bagged his second. Khalif scored 43 off 36 balls with 3 fours and 2 sixes.

There was not much to speak about the lower order and middle order as they top three batsmen had consumed a majority of deliveries and did the bulk of the scoring. Samuels’ handy 30 off 24 propelled the Comilla Victorians to a big total of 170/6 in their 20 overs. Sunny and Rubel Hossain bagged two wickets each.

The Rangpur Riders had a very dismal start to their innings. Barring opener Mohammad Shahzad, no other batsman in the top order looked settled. Although the openistandnad was worth 48, Shahzad did bulk of the scoring. His partner, Soumya Sarkar, scored only 5 in the opening stand of 48. Sarkar was the first to go in the 6th over. Nabil Samad provided the breakthrough for Comilla Victorians.

Mohammad Mithun (2) and Liam Dawson (3) fell in quick succession in the 7th and 8th over respectively. Shahzad looked good for his  31-ball 45 with 5 fours and 2 sixes before being cleaned up by Mortaza in the 9th over. At 57/4, the Rangpur Riders looked struggling. Shahid Afridi and Naeem Islam then put on a brief resistance to keep the Riders in the match.

Islam was bowled by Rashid Khan on 14 as the 42-run stand came to an end. Afridi provided some fireworks in his quick 19-ball 38 before being stumped by Liton Das off the bowling of Rashid Khan. Rashid was in the middle of a brilliant spell. Ziaur Rahman helped the Riders cross the 150-run mark and stay in the hunt for the playoffs spot.

Despite his efforts, the ask was a little too much. With 24 needed off the last over, the Rangpur Riders could manage to get just 15 kudos to double six by Ziaur. Ziaur’s fighting 38 off 22 balls with 3 sixes and a four went in vain as Comilla Victorians won by 8 runs. The Rangpur Riders are still placed at number 4.

However, if the Khulna Titans win the next match against Dhaka Dynamites, the Riders will slip down to number 5 and be out of the tournament.

Brief Scores:

Comilla Victorians: 170/6 in 20 overs (Kayes 52, Latif 43, Sunny 2/29, Rubel 2/30)

Rangpur Riders: 162/8 in 20 overs (Shahzad 45, Ziaur 38*, Rashid Khan 3/13, Mortaza 2/27)