Rangpur Riders, the defending champions of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), beat Sylhet Sixers by four wickets on Saturday, chasing the highest total of the season. Sylhet posted 194/4 in the first innings at Sylhet International Stadium. Rangpur chased it down in fashion with three balls to play (195/6 in 19.3 overs).
Rangpur needed 24 runs in the last two overs. Sylhet pacer Mehedi Hasan Rana conceded 19 runs in the 19th over, ending his side’s hope of defeating the champions who scored rest of the runs.
This is Rangpur’s first victory after losing three consecutive matches.
Rilee Rossouw hit 61 off 35 balls for Rangpur. Alex Hales and AB de Villiers also did their parts scoring 33 and 34 respectively.
Sylhet pacer Taskin Ahmed took four wickets conceding 42 runs. His teammate Sabbir Rahman, who has been struggling with his form, scored 85 to help his side post the highest total of the season.
Sabbir opened the innings with Liton Das and the pair added only 13 runs. Liton, who scored a fifty in the previous game, did not do well with the bat. But Sabbir was imperious.
In the second wicket stand, he added 39 runs with Afif Hossain, who fell for 19 off 11 balls. Sabbir then joined David Warner and the pair added 51 runs on the board.
But Sabbir and Nicholas Pooran’s fifth wicket stand was the base of the team’s score. They posted 82 runs before Sabbir’s dismissal in the first ball of last over.
But before he departed, Sabbir surpassed the previous best innings of Rilee Rossouw had who struck 83 against Dhaka Dynamites.
Rangpur captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza took two wickets while Shafiul Islam got the wicket of Sabbir.
It was Rangpur’s third win in seven matches and Sylhet’s fifth loss in seven games.
Sylhet captain Warner, suffering from an elbow injury, is set to fly home after Saturday’s match. It is unlikely that he would return to play other matches of the ongoing tournament.
Sylhet and Rangpur will play their next matches against Khulna Titans. While Rangpur will take on Khulna on January 22 while Sylhet will play them on the 23rd.