Rangpur Rangers skipper Shane Watson greets opener Mohammad Naim after smashing a six during Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BBPL) last leg match against Dhaka Platoon on Friday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. -BCB
A determined Rangpur Rangers came up with a spirited performance to secure a 11-run triumph over mighty Dhaka Platoon to end their Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BBPL) campaign with winning note at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur on Friday.
The victory was Rangpur's fifth win in the last eight matches but still they failed to make it the play-off, vastly courtesy to their four defeats in a row in the first four matches.
They however finished the tournament, remaining at sixth position in the seven-team tournament but the position in point table doesn't show how doggedly they performed at the latter part of the tournament.
The burning example was their last match in which they put up just 149-9 after being sent to bat first but their bowlers came up with resolute performance to make the total count, restricted star-studded Dhaka out for 138-9. Lewis Gregory played a key role in their victory with a sterling all-round performance, clobbering a 32 ball-46, laced with five fours and two sixes and claiming 1-25.
Rangpur's total looked not pretty initially as their lower middle order couldn't' capitalize on the platform set by the middle order batsmen-Lewis Gregory and Al-Amin Hossain Junior. Gregory's 46 was complemented by Al-Amin Junior who hit 24 ball-35, smashing four fours and one six. Jahurul Islam Omee contributed with 28.
Following a shaky start that saw them lost captain Shane Watson (10) and Cameron Delport (6) in fifth over with the scoreboard reading 28-2, Gregory gave the innings much-needed pace.
Rangpur soon was reduced to 50-3 after Naim Sheikh was dismissed by Shadab Khan for 21 ball-17. Gregory and Al-Amin added 49 runs for the fourth wicket stand, keeping the run rate quite high. However Thisara Perera inflicted a collapse and stalled the progress of Rangpur, firstly removing Gregory.
Shadab Khan then got rid of Al-Amin and Rangpur crumbled under pressure to be all out with a total that looked not pretty. Perera returned figures of 3-23 while Shadab Khan ended with 2-25.
Rangpur got the much-needed momentum to win the game despite that small total when they trapped Anamul Haque Bijoy (5) in run out. With Tamim Iqbal struggling to pace the innings, Rangpur got the chance to impose the pressure and reaped the rewards when Arafat Sunny (2-29) dealt a double blow, dismissing Tamim for 33 ball-34 and Mahedi Hasan for 20.
Even though their strike bowler Mustafizur Rahman leaked runs, fast bowler Taskin Ahmed (2-25) and Lewis Gregory came up with fire to slice the middle order before Pakistan recruit Junaid Khan (2-22) played his part in death overs.
However drama unfolded in the last over when Dhaka needed 23 with one wicket remaining. Mashrafe smashed first ball, which turned out to be no delivery, for boundary and also got another boundary courtesy to wicket-keeper's mistake.It looked Mashrafe was going to produce a miracle out of nothing but Gregory held his nerve, corrected his length and denied Dhaka eventually.
SCORES IN BRIEF
Rangpur Rangers: 149 for 9 in 20 overs (Gregory 46, Al-Amin 35, Jahurul 28; Junaid 2-22, Taskin 2-25,
A. Sunny 2-29)
Dhaka Platoon: 138 for
9 in 20 overs (Tamim 34, Mahedi 20, Shadab 16; Thisara 3-23, Shadab 2-25, Mashrafe 1-17)
Result: Rangpur Rangers won by 11 runs
Player of the Match: Lewis Gregory
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