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BPL 4, Match 39, Review: Clinical Rangpur Riders knock out Barisal Bulls

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Mohammad Shahzad World T20
Mohammad Shahzad. (Photo by Pal Pillai/IDI via Getty Images)

The stage was set for an important league game of the season. Barisal Bulls had to register a win against the Rangpur Riders to stay alive with an outside chance. The Rangpur Riders had two games in their hands while the Bulls had their one last opportunity to make it to the playoffs. A win for the Bulls would not have guaranteed them a place in the playoffs but would have certainly kept them hoping with an outside chance.

The Rangpur Riders received a major boost ahead of the clash. Regular skipper, Naeem Islam was fit again to take the field and so was wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad. The Riders won the toss and opted to bat first on a batting track. With Shahzad back in the line-up, Liam Dawson, Shahid Afridi and Anwar Ali made up the overseas quartet for Rangpur Riders.

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The Barisal Bulls stuck to the same side that fielded in their last game. Clearly, skipper Mushfiqur Rahim was in no mood to experiment at such a crucial juncture. Mohammad Shahzad and Soumya Sarkar opened the innings for the Riders. Sarkar looked to hit the ball right from the onset. A six and a four from him set the tone for the innings.

Shahzad started off cautiously, which was very uncharacteristic of him. Kamrul Islam Rabbi drew first blood by dismissing Sarkar on 17 (12) in the 4th over. Mohammad Mithun came in to join Shahzad. The Rangpur Riders had got a decent platform with 41 runs in the powerplay. Mithun and Shahzad took their time to settle in. Mithun tried to break the shackles but could not.

The run flow was choked and Shahzad had to up the ante. He tried and hit 4 fours and a six before missing out on a fifty. He was dismissed lbw by Rayad Emrit on 48 (40) in the 15th over. Mithun and Shahzad had added 76 off 61 balls for the 2nd wicket. Shahid Afridi arrived and hit a six straightaway. He lasted just 3 balls though and was dismissed by Kamrul Islam Rabbi.

Mithun’s struggle for 38 runs saw him face 41 balls before getting out to Thisara Perera. A handy cameo of unbeaten 23 off 17 balls by Ziaur Rahman and a six towards the end by Liam Dawson saw the Rangpur Riders finish with 154/5 in their 20 overs.

In a very strange tactic, the Barisal Bulls sprung a surprise with their batting order. Rayad Emrit was sent to open the innings with Dawid Malan. Emrit was perhaps given the license to go for the full monty. The move backfired as he holed one to Mithun off the bowling of Sohag Gazi in the very first over.

Another surprise beckoned as Mushfiqur Rahim promoted himself to number 3 spot. That backfired too, as Gazi sent him packing in his next over for just 1. Jeevan Mendis hit 2 sixes in his 12 runs before Riders’ skipper Naeem Islam had him lbw. At 29/3 in 4 overs in a crucial tie like this, the Barisal Bulls had made a mockery of the run chase.

Fazle Mahmud then gave some support to Malan, who had been watching the wickets fall from the other end. Mahmud’s 16-ball 21 was ended by Shahid Afridi in the 9th over. Mahmud came down the track in an attempt to clear the fence but managed to miss it completely. Shariar Nafees came in with Barisal Bulls struggling at 68/4.

Without a run being added, the other set batsman Malan perished on 30 off 23 balls to Anwar Ali. Thisara Perera gave some hope with his 17-ball 24 but became Afridi’s second scalp of the match. Enamul Haque joined Nafees at the crease with 50 needed off 30 balls. Nafees was struggling with 13 off 22 balls. He was soon dismissed on 24 off 17. Nothing worked for the Barisal Bulls from thereon either.

At 8 down, Rubel Hossain was given the ball in the penultimate over. He scalped 2 in 2 balls to finish the match in style for the Rangpur Riders. The Riders won by 29 runs as Barisal Bulls were bowled out for 125 in 18.2 overs. With the defeat, the Barisal Bulls end their campaign this season.

Brief Scores:

Rangpur Riders: 154/5 in 20 overs (Shahzad 48, Mithun 38, Perera 2/26, Rabbi 2/39)

Barisal Bulls: 125/10 in 18.2 overs (Malan 30, Perera 24, Dawson 2/11, Gazi 2/12)

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