Rajshahi Kings got their Bangladesh Premier League campaign into second gear with a hard-fought five-run win over defending champions Rangpur Riders at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. The Kings owed their second win in their fourth match to Mustafizur Rahman's brilliant last over, when he allowed just two of the nine runs Rangpur needed to win.
After the Kings were kept to 135 for eight by Mashrafe Bin Mortazas Rangpur Riders, who won the toss and elected to field in the day game, it seemed a simple enough chase for a side that contained the likes of Chris Gayle, Rilee Roussow Mohammad Mithun and Ravi Bopara. However, only Roussow made a mark in the face of disciplined bowling from Rajshahi -- apart from Kamrul Islam Rabbi, no bowler conceded runs at higher than 6.5 an over -- as he scored an unbeaten 44 off 45 balls.
Gayle had started things off with a 14-ball 12 and his opening partner was a surprise as skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Bangladeshs highest ODI wicket-taker and a lower order hitter, promoted himself to open for the first time. It did not end well, however, as he was caught behind off the second ball he faced from Kamrul in the first over.
Gayle was second to depart, also off Kamrul, with the score on 31, but Mithun and Roussow strung together a 40-run partnership. Mithun, Ravi Bopara and Benny Howell however departed in quick succession, leaving the score on 93 for five in the 15th over. Nahidul Islam then struck a 12-ball 16 and Roussow kept a cool head to bring the equation to nine off six after the 19th over ended with Nahiduls departure.
That was when Mustafizur performed his trademark move -- thwarting desperate batsmen with deliveries that cut away from off stump. After Roussow took a single off the first ball, Mustafizur bowled three successive dot balls to Forhad Reza, who missed all three deliveries outside off. He missed the fourth too, but Roussow scampered through for a single. With seven needed off the last ball, and six to force a Super Over for the second time in as many days, Roussow could only take one, signalling wild celebrations from Mehedis Kings.
Rangpur also have two wins, but this was their second successive defeat.
Earlier, Zakir Hasan was the main contributor in Rajshahis innings, scoring an unbeaten 42 off 36 balls with two fours and a six.